Sunday 28 June 2015

Thames Water Told: Work With Us Or We'll Fight To Stop You Blighting Our Neighbourhoods

Click here to view
a high resolution map
Many residents have contacted me about their deep anxieties around Thames Water’s plans for a series of sewer construction sites in the borough. Last Monday my fellow Labour councillors and I called Thames Water’s senior managers into Hammersmith Town Hall to make it very clear that we will fight them all the way if they don’t review their plans.

Addison ward Councillor Sue Fennimore asked Thames Water why they hadn’t sought to work with the council to find better sites from the start. Using the examples of the proposed Sulgrave Road and Edward Woods estate sites, Sue told them how the disruption this would cause to people in the immediate neighbourhood did not appear to be taken into account when compared to other sites which would be better for residents. Hammersmith Broadway’s Councillor PJ Murphy made similar points about the proposed Verulam House and Astrop Terrace sites, just off Hammersmith Grove.

Thames Water had sent out a consultation document to residents in May. That identified 12 potential sites for the works needed to build the Counters Creek storm relief sewer.

The council isn’t objecting to the need for these works. I have dealt with enough people suffering the horror of sewage flooding their home to know that we need to stop that ever happening again. But it’s not right that Thames Water should blight other people’s lives to fix this.

Earlier this month, Councillor Hannah Barlow, who represents residents in Avonmore and Brook Green ward, contacted me to say that she believed there was serious flaws in Thames Water’s consultation as they appeared to be giving contradictory messages to her constituents. Councillor Larry Culhane said his North End ward constituents told him Thames Water did not appear to be listening to them and the consultation did not look genuine.

I put all this to Thames Water. I explained that we would take every possible means available to the council to block any proposals that blighted neighbourhoods. I suggested that instead, Thames Water should work with the council’s officials and look at everything again.

Thames Water agreed. I guess it was hard for them not to but they did seek to say why some of their proposed sites were essential. I reiterated the council’s position and hope that we can find a way forward that suits everyone

No comments: