I’ve have taken stick over the past week. Fair enough; that’s politics.

My opponents accuse me of voting to allow water companies to pump sewage onto our beaches.

It sounds appalling, but it’s a travesty.

The debate in Parliament is about how quickly we clean up beaches and rivers, not whether it gets done.

Here's what the political critics said about MP's vote.

I am proud of what we are doing, in government and on the Island. This summer I got Southern Water to talk with councillors to explain their plans. They pledge millions in investment on the IW.

Last week’s drama was part of the Environment Bill, a new, ground-breaking law to help clean up our natural environment. It will include binding targets on biodiversity, air quality, water, and resource and waste efficiency, as well as plans to help native species, such as the red squirrel.

The Environment Bill already has strong provisions on sewage discharge. Water companies such as Southern Water will have to show how they will develop their drainage and sewerage over 25 years — including stopping storm overflows.

However, a member of the House of Lords, a duke, wanted an amendment which would have passed unlimited costs for sewage clean up onto consumers, including everyone on the Island who pays for water.

While I have had angry letters from constituents on sewage, I would have had hundreds, if not thousands, of desperate letters from Islanders fearful of being unable to pay water bills if the amendment became law.

Opposition politicians don’t have to live with the consequences of their actions — even when they are dukes.

Can we do more? Yes. Truth be told, I am not entirely happy with where the government is. But the Duke of Wellington’s amendment would have made things worse.

Read more: River Trust map shows where sewage was dumped on Isle of Wight

We are trying to fix a situation where sewage has been allowed to flow into the rivers and seas for years.

Last week’s vote was not the final word; negotiations are going on. government needs to make concessions. If it does, I will support it. If it does not, I won’t.

I know that folks are concerned, and they include friends of mine who aren’t best pleased.

However, the Environment Bill is a ground-breaking law to help clean up our rivers and beaches.

The debate in Parliament is about how quickly we clean up beaches and rivers, not whether it gets done.

That’s the truth of the matter.

I’ll leave it to the good sense of Islanders to make up their minds.

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