Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey vows to crack down on South West sewage pollution

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The leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Ed Davey says he vows to crack down on water companies that are pumping raw sewage into waters in Devon.

Later this week, people from across Devon will be heading to polling stations to vote in a series of local elections.

Speaking to ITV News West Country the Lib Dem leader said the party would call for stronger enforcement of waste disposal into waterways across the region.

He said: "I’m really proud of how Liberal Democrats in BANES have made the environment such a big part of the work they have achieved and also investing in affordable housing.

"We were the party leading the campaign against the sewage being poured into our rivers and seas.

"The Conservatives have so poorly regulated the water companies and allowed the water companies to pump filthy sewage into our waters.

"We however value the environment as well as affordable housing."

Speaking about other issues facing the region, Sir Ed said the party had seen a surge in Tory voters losing confidence in the party.

"Devon has some of the longest ambulance delays in the country. And people think 'what on earth is going wrong?'.

"And we're finding on the doorstep that lots of life-long conservatives are angry with the government and are switching to liberal democrats."

Last year the liberal democrats overturned a 24,000 Tory majority to win the Tiverton and Honiton by-election that Sir Ed Davey says the party did not expect to win.

A dramatic swing of almost 30% from the Tories to the Liberal Democrats saw Richard Foord achieve a majority of 6,144 in the Devon constituency.

Richard Foord became the new lib dem MP for Tiverton and Honiton in June last year. Credit: ITV News

Speaking about the win Sir Ed added: "We were very proud that Richard won the by-election last year. We didn't expect to win the tories have held that seat for years.

"Indeed when we overturned it and won it was the biggest electoral victory in terms of the size majority overturned in a by-election ever."

The Liberal Democrat leader now hopes to relay the success of last-years by-election to the local elections going on to say: "We're picking up in election in mid Devon and in East Devon. Particularly in Torbay.

"We're seeing lots of conservative voters switching because they're disappointed with the government and they like what they're hearing from active community liberal democrat campaigners."