JUNE 29 2023 – RIVER MOLE AND ITS TRIBUTARY SYSTEM NOW UNDER SERIOUS THREAT WITH POSSIBLE BANKRUPTCY OF THAMES WATER – LEAVING THE GOVERNMENT/TAXPAYER TO MEND A BROKEN SYSTEM AND PAY FOR AN ENVIRONMENTAL CATASTROPHE?

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23625578.ofwat-worried-southern-waters-5-2-billion-debt/?ref=ebln&nid=944&u=1e01a25da9b9971f1e506cf20f3dc944&date=010723

 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2023/06/28/water-security-must-be-the-priority/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-66056024

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jun/29/taxpayer-cash-must-not-be-used-to-bail-out-thames-water-says-feargal-sharkey?CMP=share_btn_link

 

WATER – TELEGRAPH LETTERS

SIR – It is incomprehensible that the highly regulated water industry should be so close to collapse (“Government prepares to take over water firms”, report, June 29).

Individual water companies are effectively monopolies supplying the public with an essential service at regulator-controlled prices. So why have the regulators wilfully ignored issues such as corporate financial stability, spilling of sewage (which has got far worse during the reign of the regulators), and dramatically high rates of leakage – all while allowing recurrent hosepipe bans in a notoriously wet country?

The regulators have been doing their utmost to keep consumer prices down, while ignoring the long-term issues that have brought Thames Water and others to their knees.

We saw the harm that unrepentant politicians such as Matt Hancock have done to the country with their response to Covid: if we want abundant clean water in our taps, few leaks and raw sewage properly treated rather than deliberately spilled into public waterways, let us avoid renationalising the water industry, dismiss underperforming regulators, appoint new teams with a proper remit and keep politicians’ notorious incompetence out of it.

Merlin Haddon
Palafrugell, Girona, Spain

SIR – In 1989 Margaret Thatcher sold off the water industry. Private firms spotted the target, acquired the companies, borrowed millions, sold shares and passed money on to shareholders. Is this going to be the final nail in the Conservatives’ coffin at the next election?

His Honour Lord Parmoor
Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

SIR – I was appalled to learn that China is a major shareholder in Thames Water. Are we mad? Why do we allow foreign, and not over-friendly, countries to own parts of ours? Can you imagine being permitted to try to buy any part of the Chinese economy? Other countries own shares in companies here, and, though I dislike the idea, I suppose it was commercially useful at the time. But we should be more selective when permitting such arrangements, and should always keep the major shareholding in UK hands.

Ruby Gordon-Wilson
Newick, East Sussex

SIR – How can a monopoly operator with a guaranteed income, such as Thames Water, run up £14 billion of debt except through mismanagement and corporate greed? It wouldn’t be so bad if water companies actually did the job for which we pay them, but they can’t even manage that.

Peter Stokes
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

SIR – The Environment Agency employs about 10,600 people and last year cost taxpayers £94 million. As it is incapable of even dealing with sewage discharges, what exactly is its purpose?

Roy Hodgson
Little Brington, Northamptonshire

FROM THE ARCHIVES [MARCH 25 2023] – THE SATURDAY WALK – ‘HOW DANGEROUS IS THE POLLUTION AND CONTAMINATION IN BEWBUSH BROOK IN THE ANCIENT PARISH OF IFIELD?’ – 11AM FROM THE PLOUGH IN IFIELD VILLAGE [OR 11.30AM FROM IFIELD WEST BUS STOP/COMMUNITY CENTRE AT DOBBINS PLACE]