FALMOUTH and Truro MP Cherilyn Mackrory says she has been the victim of a torrent of 'terrible' abuse following her decision to vote against an amendment to prevent sewage being dumped at sea.

The information was included in her reply to a letter from Falmouth Town Council which called on her to reconsider her decision to vote against an amendment to the Environment Bill which aimed to stop raw sewage from being discharged into the sea.


Falmouth councillors call on MP to rethink vote over sewage amendment

Thanking the council for all it does for Falmouth, she said it had been a 'tough' couple of weeks as it now appeared to be the norm that MPs should be subjected to abuse and threats.

"Over the weekend, I was subjected to a barrage of rather terrible abuse," she said. "Regardless of political affiliations, debate should always be healthy, courteous and respectful. I remain grateful to those who hold me to account on a regular basis, but abuse and aggressive emails to me has no place in today’s society.

"Take the issue you have written to me about for example. This issue has been made out to be so simple by pressure groups, who should know better, frankly vilifying Members of Parliament. This is not acceptable."

Laying out her reasons for not voting for the amendment in the three page letter, she said she wanted the town council to know that she completely sympathised with its concerns but it was her firm belief that the amendment she voted against was not the correct way to deliver the change they both wanted to see.

"We must be pragmatic when we look at this issue," she said. "If the amendment was carried, it would mean the complete separation of our sewerage systems, leading to significant disruption for homes, businesses, and infrastructure across the country."

On water quality specifically she said she shared the passion and drive of the people of Falmouth regarding the stopping of dumping sewage into our waterways.

She said a majority of MPs including herself voted in favour of taking a range of immediate steps to address storm overflows, together with a legal duty on government to produce detailed and costed plans for reducing and eliminating storm overflows entirely.

"There has been a minority who wish to spread simplistic misrepresentations of my vote, without any real understanding of the Bill or the amendment, nor sadly wanting to," she said. "Many are quick off the mark to jump to conclusions without even asking me for my view on this issue. I am grateful to the town council for giving me the chance to explain my vote."

She added: "I want to end on this note - to be crystal clear, my vote was not to dump additional sewage into our waters. The amendment that came forward was not the right vehicle to effect the change we all want to see.

"I want to reassure you all that I am completely committed to eliminating harm from storm overflows. I want clean bathing waters for people in Falmouth to swim in, clean rivers and seas for our local fishermen to fish in and clean waters for marine life to live in.

"I will continue to do my bit to make this happen."

Responding to the letter, Falmouth deputy mayor Kirstie Edwards said she really appreciated the MP responding so quickly to the council's concerns but condemned the abuse.

"I really appreciate Cherilyn taking the time to respond so promptly and with more detail on the matter, explaining the nuances of this bill," she said. "We will continue to work together on this vital issue for our community and town, and watch to ensure the voice of our community continues to be heard.

"As always, be kind- personal attacks will not be tolerated on my watch. We are allowed to be passionate and disagree, but I will not stand by and allow bullying or for individuals to feel threatened or unsafe. That is never OK."