Thames Water’s apology is far too late after years of sewage scandal

22 May 2023

Guildford Liberal Democrats have called for Thames Water to be overhauled following a long overdue apology for sewage dumping.

In a statement issued through Water UK on 18th May, water and sewage companies admitted to dragging their heels on taking action to stop sewage discharges into our coastlines, rivers and lakes.

In the wake of this announcement, the local Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate says the apology is far too late, and that it is meaningless unless the firm is completely reformed.

The Liberal Democrats are calling for water firms to become "public benefit companies," making environmental goals more important than profits, and making it compulsory for environmental experts to sit on their company boards.

This would put an end to billions of pounds being wasted in dividends whilst sewage destroys waterways.

Guildford Liberal Democrats are also demanding an apology from Angela Richardson MP and the Conservative Government for voting down tougher action on water firms.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford, Zöe Franklin said:

"This announcement is too little too late after years of putting public health at risk and large-scale environmental damage, which has previously been arrogantly dismissed by the water industry.

"This apology means nothing unless the firm is completely reformed from top to bottom. Protecting the environment should be more important than making overseas investors rich. Sadly, Thames Water still has its priorities all wrong.

"To add insult to injury, Guildford's Conservative MP Angela Richardson has spent recent years voting down tougher action on polluting water firms. She too owes people an apology."

Morning information:

Water and sewage companies in England apologise for sewage spills and launch massive transformation programme:

  • £10 billion - more than triple current levels - ready to be invested in a new National Overflows Plan, enabling the biggest modernisation of sewers since the Victorian era, and the most ambitious programme on sewage spills in the world.
  • A new Environmental hub, launching next year, will for the first time give everyone near real-time information on overflows, as well as the state of our rivers and coastal waters.
  • Companies will also support up to 100 communities to create new protected waters for swimming and recreation.

Read the full announcement from Water UK here.