Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.


01 JUL 2019

Public Ownership of Water

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about the public ownership of water.

You ask if I will sign EDM 1761, however like many MPs I do not sign any EDMs no matter how worthy the cause. This is because EDMs now cost a huge amount per year to administer and have no chance of changing the Law. They are in effect petitions which only MPs can sign. They have also been superseded by online petitions which can be on any issue for which the Government or Parliament is responsible and any which receive 10,000 signatures will receive a response from the Government. Those petitions which reach 100,000 signatures will almost always be debated in Parliament – unless it is an issue which has recently been debated. There are also concerns that EDMs may give a false impression that action is being taken.

You may be interested to read the transcript of a speech by Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, at the Water Industry Forum, entitled: What future for water? Three challenges for the industry: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/what-future-for-water-three-challenges-for-the-industry

In it he states that he does not think the fundamental issue is whether water companies remain privatised or are taken back into public ownership: the fundamental issue is what will deliver best for the public and the environment.

The future of the water industry was also considered in a debate in the House at the start of this year and you may like to view the transcript via the following link: https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2019-01-22/debates/93097112-7B8E-459A-BE5A-530A7D3EA826/WaterIndustry?highlight=public%20ownership%20water#contribution-61074940-177F-4D64-8FDE-9780AC7A706A

Lastly, the following briefings from the House of Commons Library on this topic may be of interest:

researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CDP-2019-0008

https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8325

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