'˜Rebuffed' Fylde MP demanding answers in Lancashire water probe

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has called on the Government to ensure an investigation into a Lancashire water crisis remains on track.

Wednesday, 31st August 2016, 10:09 am
Updated Wednesday, 31st August 2016, 11:11 am
The water plant

The Tory MP has written to the Secretary of State at the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs, the Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, to ask her to intervene after long delays in seeing the results of the Drinking Water Inspectorate’s inquiry following last summer’s cryptosporidium outbreak.

More than 300,000 homes and businesses in Lancashire were first warned to boil all drinking water to protect against the nasty parasite in August last year.

It took 30 days for all supplies to return to normal, leading to compensation payments of between £50 and £60 to all domestic consumers and much more to businesses affected by the alert.

How we reported the outbreak last August

But despite fresh demands for answers, the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) has still not revealed the source of the problem.

It comes after Mr Menzies contacted the organisation to find out the status of the investigation – but was rebuffed by officers.

He said: “This situation has gone on for long enough and people are unhappy at being left in the dark about a situation which caused untold inconvenience last summer.

“When I contacted the Drinking Water Inspectorate for some information I received a rather blunt response that they would publish their findings when they are good and ready.

How we reported the outbreak last August

“I’m afraid that’s just not good enough. This process needs to be open and transparent to give people the confidence they can trust their suppliers and the regulators put in place to protect their interests.

“With that in mind, I have written to the Secretary of State to ask her to intervene. While I understand the investigation must be carried out thoroughly and correctly, I think people deserve to know that is happening and be given some kind of timescales as to when they can expect answers.

“Without those assurances, then it is difficult to know whether the Drinking Water Inspectorate is working effectively and whether it is fit for purpose.”