Layla Moran challenges Sunak on Thames Water incompetence

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Layla Moran had a question to the Prime Minister today.

She challenged him on Thames Water, who are putting charges to her constituents up, despite providing a terrible service. She said:

Thames Water is a shambles. During the recent flooding in Oxfordshire, it dumped sewage from 270 sites along the Thames in one week. Waste was backing up into people’s homes because of drains that it had not unblocked, and it could not even refill its own reservoir because the rivers were too dirty. Rather than offering a rebate for this shoddy service, Thames Water is intending to put bills up for everyone by 60%. Will the Prime Minister explain to my constituents why they are being asked to foot the bill for Thames Water’s gross incompetence?

Sunak responded by basically reaffirming Layla’s point that Thames Water had been terrible, but without much in the way of understanding or action to prevent such a massive increase in charges.

We have been clear that the volume of sewage discharge by water companies is unacceptable, and that is why we have launched the most ambitious storm overflow discharge reduction plan. We have now achieved the monitoring of nearly every single storm overflow in England—under this and previous Governments—and introduced unlimited penalties on water companies. Where there is evidence of poor performance, the Environment Agency will not hesitate to pursue the water companies concerned, just as it did, I believe, a couple of years ago in the hon. Lady’s constituency, when it specifically fined Thames Water £4 million following a serious incident.

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