HC Deb 09 February 1960 vol 617 cc213-4
19. Mr. Gower

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs if he is aware of continued concern about the pollution of beaches in the United Kingdom, including the Bristol Channel area, by the discharge of untreated sewage into the sea; and if he will consider what new steps may be taken to deal with this problem.

Mr. H. Brooke

To the reply I gave on 1st February, to the hon. Member for Cardiff, South-East (Mr. Callaghan) I would only add that the action needed is for local authorities whose beaches are grossly polluted to get busy and make proposals for improved disposal arrangements.

Mr. Gower

Is it not a fact that last summer, for example, the state of many of the beaches on the Bristol Channel indicated that the steps so far taken have been quite inadequate? Has my right hon. Friend noted the views expressed by some local authorities and medical officers that this is too big a problem to be tackled out of the resources of small local authorities?

Mr. Brooke

Fortunately, a committee of the Medical Research Council has assured us that there is no risk to health here, but there are foul conditions on a certain number of beaches, and I say quite firmly that it is up to the local authorities to put forward proposals for remedying that condition.

Mrs. Slater

Is not this another instance of the Government, by putting up interest rates to local authorities, making it extremely difficult for them to tackle the colossal problem of new sewerage works?

Mr. Brooke

That is a much wider question.