Thames Water “slimy slugs” slip-slide away from providing solutions

Meet Thames Water slugs Corporate Affairs Director  George Mayhew and Head of  Waste Management Matt Rimmer.

Some of us came across this slimy pair last Tuesday, at this  online meeting,  https://thisisnorthkensington.wordpress.com/2021/07/25/kensington-claws-out-for-thames-water-on-tuesday/

in which they  tried to evade questioning from residents and from Felicity Buchan,   outright refused to  provide compensation to residents wbose property was badly damaged by the heavy flooding (they didn’t quite use the tern “act of God” but as good as said that ), made empty excuses  to angry residents and only  recommended FLIP switches as flood prevention and vaguely said there would be an “Independent Review” but didn’t say much else. We gained little to nothing from that meeting, apart from seeing that Thames Water Directors are more full of crap than people’s sewage-flooded homes were…

When  FLIP switches were discussed in that meeting  resident Stephanie pointed out that all these do is divert it  somewhere else. Well, we know that social housing providers,  RBKC  council and various housing sssociations do not usually  invest a great deal of money on their housing stock, and we think  presenting this as a solution could end up in future  with wealthier  residents who are able to pay for this work, suffering from fewer incidents of flooding in their homes than  poorer residents. In any case,    pushing the problem further on to the homes of others is far from an ideal solution…

So what is? Thames Water abandoned the proposed  storm relief sewers proposed as part of the Counters Creek Project after floods in 2007. https://www.rbkc.gov.uk/planning-and-building-control/planning-policy/counters-creek-project

As floods such as last month’s are set to be a nuch  more regular occurance with climate change, we say this needs to be considered again. A resident of  Barnes, another affected part of London told us they think a “super sewer” for London is the solution, and this may be controversial, but we think this is a more sensible option than expecting residents to pay for FLIP switches   or otherwise living with their homes and businesses flooded every year and being  told to take out insurance ….

Our blog will be keeping a close eye on Thames Water, and we will not  let them kick this “Independent Review” into the long grass, as will many of our affected local residents.

Last Friday, the Colville Labour councillors, Monica Press, Ian Henderson and Nadia Nail, arranged for Thames Water to have a stall at Portobello Market, and far from the PR exercise that Thames Water may have hoped it would be, we have heard they had to face more affected residents , who gave them an earful too – good.

At least some of our local representatives are listening and ensuring that  Thames Water hears the voices of our residents and don’t just complacently sit on their fat profits and do nothing while people suffer. Thames Water make over £100 million profit – we expect action, rather than fobbing off people  This is their infrastructure, they are expected to maintain it responsibly and respond accordingly to changing times and circumstances. The word is that some residents will be looking to take legal action against Thames Water if any more such instances occur,  if not before . 

We will leave the last words here with Colville councillor and North Kensington resident Monica Press:  “Thames Water gave a whole new meaning to “passing the buck”. Following the 2007 floods they decide against new sewers and the Counters Creek storm relief scheme which would benefit everyone. Gave £250m back to Ofwat and spend £100m on “property based solutions” – flip valves as compensation to 1,000 properties flooded in 2007. So on 12th July 2021 most of these properties are protected and the flood is forced further on to properties without flips and many that weren’t flooded in 2007. And of course HA tenants and many private rentals don’t have flips. Starting to sound like the rich get flips and the poor get flooded.”

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