Cherilyn Mackrory and Falmouth abused online after sewage vote
FALMOUTH and Truro MP Cherilyn Mackrory said she suffered a torrent of ‘terrible’ abuse following her decision to vote against an amendment to prevent the dumping of sewage at sea .
The information was included in its response to a letter from Falmouth City Council calling on it to reconsider its decision to vote against an amendment to the Environmental Bill that sought to prevent the discharge of raw sewage into the sea.
Falmouth councilors call on MP to rethink vote on wastewater amendment
Thanking the council for all they are doing for Falmouth, she said these two weeks had been “difficult” as it now seemed to be the norm for MPs to be subjected to abuse and threats.
“Over the weekend I was subjected to a rather terrible barrage of abuse,” she said. “Regardless of political affiliations, the debate should always be healthy, courteous and respectful. I remain grateful to those who regularly call me to account, but abuse and aggressive emails about me have no place in today’s society.
“Take the problem you wrote to me about, for example. This problem has been presented as so simple by pressure groups, which should know better, frankly defaming MPs. This is not acceptable.”
Explaining her reasons for not voting for the amendment in the three-page letter, she said she wanted city council to know that she fully understood her concerns, but she firmly believed that the amendment she was against had voted was not the right way to make the change they both wanted to see.
“We have to be pragmatic when we look at this issue,” she said. “If the amendment passes, it would mean the complete separation of our sewage systems, causing significant disruption to homes, businesses and infrastructure across the country.”
Regarding the water quality in particular, she said she shared the passion and motivation of the people of Falmouth to stop the discharge of sewage into our waterways.
She said a majority of MPs, including herself, voted in favor of taking a series of immediate measures to tackle storm overflows, as well as a legal requirement for the government to produce detailed and costed plans to reduce and completely eliminate storm surges.
“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 do so,” she said. “Many are quick to draw conclusions without even asking my opinion on this issue. I am grateful to City Council for giving me the chance to explain my vote.
She added: “I want to end on that note – to be crystal clear, my vote was not to dump additional sewage into our waters. The amendment that was presented was not the right vehicle to effect the change we all want to see.
“I want to reassure you all that I am totally committed to eliminating the damage caused by storm overflows. I want clean bathing waters for the people of Falmouth to swim in, clean rivers and seas for our local fishermen can fish and clean waters for marine life to live in.
“I will continue to do my part to make this happen. ”
In response to the letter, Falmouth Deputy Mayor Kirstie Edwards said she really appreciated the MP’s response to council concerns but condemned the abuse.
“I really appreciate that Cherilyn took the time to respond so quickly and in more detail on the question, explaining the nuances of this bill,” she said. “We will continue to work together on this vital issue for our community and our city, and will ensure that our community’s voice continues to be heard.
“As always, be kind – personal attacks will not be tolerated under my watch. We are allowed to be passionate and disagree, but I will not stand idly by and allow individuals to feel threatened or unsafe. It’s never OK. ”