Neil Parish MP speaks in debate on the Water Bill

Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, has spoken during the second reading of the Water Bill in the House of Commons, which aims to promote growth for the long term, improve the resilience of our water supplies and the environment and increase choice for customers:


Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton, Conservative): I agree wholeheartedly that drainage boards could do much more work. The money that they spend often goes a great deal further than the excessive amount spent by some public bodies. As the Secretary of State is aware, the Parrett and Tone rivers in Somerset are completely silted up and they need to be dredged quickly.


Anne McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton, Conservative): I am sure that the whole House, including the Secretary of State, has heard what my hon. Friend said. Dredging little and often can prevent floods. The drainage boards have an army of volunteers, a huge fount of knowledge and, probably, more engineers than the Environment Agency.


Later on the debate Neil Parish made an intervention during a speech made by Richard Benyon MP, the formerly the Minister responsible for the Water Bill:


Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton, Conservative): Like other Members, I thank my hon. Friend for all the work that he did on the Bill when he was Minister. Does he not feel that the one thing we are missing in this country is the recycling of water? It would be good to use recycled water to grow crops, as it contains a huge amount of nutrients. When we get a wet year, we forget about all the dry years that we have had or may have in the future.


Richard Benyon ( Newbury, Conservative): My hon. Friend is right. I see this in household terms: my simple view is that if a builder wants to build 1,000 houses in the Test valley—I do not


know why I am picking on the Test valley; I could pick on any number of catchments in the south or east of England—for that to be considered sustainable development, he should have to prove to his local authority that he is hardwiring into his thinking recycling rain water, greywater systems and permeable membranes outside the houses. In fact, he should think of everything to ensure that the development’s water demands are as low as possible.


Hansard source (Citation: HC Deb, 25 November 2013, c80)