Congratulations to the Surfers Against Sewage and to Maria Villa Vine (lead article and letter, CP, 19-11-21, also page 8 CP, 03-12-21).

This is a rare example of a breakthrough for public pressure to secure an amendment to a bill going through parliament.

Sadly, it was only a partial victory as indicated by the statement: "it was too expensive to replace the infrastructure that would mean companies could be forced to stop doing it altogether."

One of the articles criticising the discharge of sewage into the sea, lakes and rivers during the recent heavy rain storms, referred correctly to the fact that the water companies have had 150 years to upgrade the infrastructure, and in the meantime have paid out £75 billion in dividends.

Britain has relied for too long on the infrastructure created by the enterprise, engineering skills and vision of the Victorians, who led the world with design prowess and even more importantly swift execution.

"Britain loves infrastructure" Boris Johnson once declared in characteristically vague terms…roads, bridges, ports, airports, railways, houses.

Infrastructure is essentially the backbone of a vibrant economy, job creation and the quality of life, it facilitates trade, and enables businesses to operate efficiently.

The more recent track record when it comes to delivering infrastructure or construction projects on time and on budget is dire.

The demand for improvement is driven by population growth, lifestyle changes and expectations…the population of the UK in 1851 was 16.8 million, today it is 68 million and this has not been reflected in the pace of change.

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