Victory at last for sewage pollution campaigners at Whitburn, Sunderland

Stephen Hughes, Labour MEP for the North East Region is celebrating the European Court of Justice’s decision against the UK government for non-compliance with EU environmental legislation in allowing sewage to be discharged into the North Sea from Whitburn (see full judgement here).

Mr. Hughes pursued the problem of sewage in the sea as a complaint to the European Commission on behalf of a local fisherman, Bob Latimer, from Sunderland back in 2000. It has taken 12 years to reach the decision today.

Speaking today, Stephen Hughes said: “Bob Latimer and his small band of supporters should be rightly proud of this victory today. Without his tenacity and commitment to truth and justice, this result would not have been possible.

“The people of the North East deserve beaches free of sewage. For too long water companies have threatened that bills will be increased if they were made to comply with waste water legislation. I believe that if the health and well-being of the people of the North East was the water company’s primary concern rather than maximising the profits of their shareholders that we would not have had to take this case to the Court of Justice.

“Northumbrian Water will need to take action for improvements at Whitburn as I have today also received information from the European Commission to indicate that the bathing waters in the area apparently also now failed making the breach even clearer.”

Source: Press Release, Office of Stephen Hughes MEP, 18th October 2012
For further information, please contact Stephen Hughes MEP on 07770-914526 or Press Officer, Cyndi Beaver on: 07764-198400, Bob Latimer on: 01915-292276

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