Philip Dunne intervenes in a debate on rivers achieving bathing water quality status to highlight the Environmental Audit Committee’s view that achieving such status should be an objective of every water company to allow more people to enjoy swimming in all weathers in more and more rivers around the country.
Inadvertently or not, my hon. Friend is making almost precisely the points that the Environmental Audit Committee made in its inquiry into water quality in rivers: that bathing water quality status should be an objective of every water company over the next pricing period, so that we can radically improve the quality of our rivers and allow more people to take great pleasure from swimming in all weathers in more and more rivers around the country.
My right hon. Friend is absolutely spot on. I have to say that I had not picked up all the output of his Select Committee, so apologies for that, but I strongly agree with everything he has said this evening. He is right that it should be an objective, but to achieve that objective, a team approach is needed, and one that involves the local community, local businesses, Government agencies, local government and national Government.