Fringe Box



Letter: Water Regulator Must Do Its Job

Published on: 19 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 19 Jan, 2024

From: Peter Mills

In response to: Local MPs to Meet Water Regulator To Discuss Thames Water’s Performance

Water regulator Ofwat needs to police Thames Water, including how they measure outages, and enforce the correct compensation payouts when they occur.

As we have learned recently from the Post Office scandal, these payouts are not a valid business expense, so they hit the bottom line and reduce profitability, hopefully or likely leading to two outcomes:

1. Impact the leadership team’s bonuses.

2. Reduce stock value and incur the wrath of institutional shareholders with clout, who will hold the leadership responsible.

That might focus the leadership team’s minds and stop them exploiting their captive customer base in this non-competitive market where we customers have zero choice.

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Responses to Letter: Water Regulator Must Do Its Job

  1. Ben Paton Reply

    January 19, 2024 at 11:48 am

    Who regulates the regulators? HM Government, of course. Who runs the UK Government? The so-called Conservative Party.
    Regulation is important. One would think that was self-evident. But in practice in the cosy Whitehall world where everyone scratches each other’s back, regulators are toothless and useless.
    The examples are legion. Look at the IOPC and its failure to regulate the Met and the Manchester police forces. Corruption in the Met is rife- according a series of Judge-led reports. See the Baroness Casey Review of the Met ( the Daniel Morgan Enquiry Report (, the Coroner’s report on the investigation of the murder of Stephen Port in the East End (
    The Financial Conduct Authority and the Solicitors Regulation Authority are dead letters. If anyone wants to operate a fraud the safest starting point is to act as a bank or a solicitor!
    What about the regulation of Government owned enterprises like the Post Office? Is there ANY rgulation at all? Evidently not in the past 25 years.
    Even statutory regulation of the utilities, all economic natural monopolies, is conspicuous by its absence.
    The Post Office is the best argument against the current ‘solution du jour’ or fad-nationalisation of the utility companies. Evidently Government (of any party) cannot run a business.
    But regulation has in recent years been an abject failure. Where has the Environment Agency been when we have a collapse of hundreds of species of mammal, insect and birds in England? Under-resourced and AWOL.
    Government’s greatest ‘capability’? Issuing Press Releases that put positive spin on everything.
    Politics in England has become a branch of Public Relations. Our ‘poster boy’ politicians are people like Matt Hancock.
    Even electors who are conservative with a small ‘c’ will be loathe to re-elect a party that cannot even give a straight account of how it has dealt with the backlog of asylum cases.
    The litmus test for how many voters think and vote may be who is the least dishonest.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    January 19, 2024 at 12:34 pm

    From the bottom up. Pressure testing of foul rising mains is not a statutory requirement
    Inspection is not a statutory requirement.
    Leaks lasting 20 plus years EA not significant!
    Backing up of gravity foul mains so they become Pressurised and smell like cesspit, is acceptable.
    The water undertakers cannot refuse to supply services even if it is known by planners that there is no additional water supply, sewage treatment has been exceed, pipe capacities are being exceeded.

    In short the industry was manipulated by the water undertakers in the 1990s and the paper shufflers of Ofwat and the E A have found their experiences in the penal system, and other government departments are no match.
    The drastic need of qualified engineers to be listened to is clearly demonstrated by the above bottom up facts.

    Nothing to do with accountants it’s the deaf when faced with engineering facts.

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