Geoffrey Clifton-Brown attacks Thames Water in Parliament for making Cotswold customers pay for major project in London
THAMES Water has triggered the wrath of Geoffrey Clifton-Brown after it was revealed that customers in the Cotswolds are footing the bill for a multi-billion pound tunnel project in London.
The Cotswold MP said it was “outrageous” that water bills in the district would be rising by more than £70 to pay for the new Tideway Tunnel in London, nearly 100 miles away.
Speaking in the House of Commons on Monday, March 3, Mr Clifton-Brown said that people living in the Cotswolds are getting a very poor deal from their water supplier.
“It is outrageous that customers will be charged an additional £70 to £80 a year for at least 10 years to pay for the huge tunnel, when we in the Cotswolds cannot get the increased investment we need to deal with sewage flooding,” he said.
“The time for talking in the Cotswolds is over. It has had more than enough time to carry out all its design work. We need more sewerage investment.”
Thames Water defended its price hike saying it is fair as customers in London provide huge financial support for those living outside the capital.
A spokesman said: “Customers would be faced with considerable costs if investments in their areas were funded only by local bill-payers. This method allows us to invest over a billion pounds a year while our customers’ bills remain the second lowest in the country.”
The water giant also told the Standard that it had invested significant funding into studying the sewer infrastructure in the Cotswolds and it is looking to continue its larger scale investigations over the coming months.
Mr Clifton-Brown also told Parliament that the Cotswolds has fallen victim to a “rash of developers” determined to build houses on areas susceptible to flooding.
He said that the decision to build a new development in South Cerney on land next to an estate that suffers from sewerage flooding was “daft”.
“Fairford and Lechlade have each seen new developments passed that are to be built on the floodplains there. That is also daft,” he said.
For more information on the flooding debate, visit www.cliftonbrown.co.uk.
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