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WATER WORRIES: Concerns emerge over potential collapse of Thames Water

 Published on: 28th June 2023   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

Thames Water, the company responsible for sewerage across Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Greater London and the water supply across the majority of Southern England, could be on the brink of collapse.

The business is currently £14billion in debt and under intense pressure to deliver.

The company’s CEO, Sarah Bentley, announced her resignation yesterday after just two years in the job. No reason has been given for her departure, with Alastair Cochran and Cathryn Ross set to assume the role of joint interim CEO effective immediately.

Thames Water currently supplies water to more than 15 million people across the UK, but if a collapse does occur, the supply will not be affected.

The government is currently drawing up plans with the water company regulator Ofwat and Thames Water officials in case of this possibility. One option may see the company temporarily brought under government control, under what is known as a special administrative regime.

When asked in the Commons earlier today about the issue, the Environment Secretary Rebecca Pow MP said: “There is a lot going on behind the scenes with Thames Water to ensure customers will not be impacted and there is a process in place if necessary to move us to the next stage.”

Elected Mayor of Watford Peter Taylor said: “The potential collapse of Thames Water is a damning indictment of the failed water privatisation experiment and incompetent regulation by OfWat. For too long Thames Water has been a mess, putting shareholder profits ahead of the environment and failing to deal with huge numbers of leaks.

“The government needs to listen to Liberal Democrat calls to turn Thames Water into a public good company. This new company would have environmental experts on its board to stop the sewage pouring into our rivers and will be forced to put customer service and infrastructure improvements before payouts to shareholders.”

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