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

Published on: 18 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 18 Jan, 2024

By Martin Giles

Local MPs Angela Richardson and Jeremy Hunt are to meet the chief executive of water services regulation authority, Ofwat, to discuss concerns about Thames Water’s performance in recent months.

Ms Richardson wrote to Ofwat in November asking what measures the regulator can take to monitor Thames Water’s infrastructure and ensure it increases its resilience.

The Ofwat response to Angela Richardson

In its response, Mark Anderson, Ofwat’s director of communications, wrote: “In our 2022-23 report on company performance, Thames Water was in the bottom category for its performance and only met 4 out of 12 of its performance commitment levels.

“Following publication of the 2022-23 WCPRs [water company performance reports], in September last year, we wrote to all underperforming companies, including Thames Water, clearly stating they must take action to address poor performance.

“Ofwat made abundantly clear that we require Thames Water to publish a service commitment plan, outlining when and how customers will receive the service they expect and deserve. We also required Thames to provide updates on progress they’re making towards improvement actions.”

Ofwat is working towards a new five-year “Price Review Period”, to provide a framework and timescale under which water companies will have to improve their performance or face financial penalties. Final decisions on the price review are to be set out in December 2024, following draft decisions in June.

See also: Water Supplies Fail Again! This Time Over Christmas

Mr Anderson continued: “Please be assured of the importance that the Price Review will place on driving water companies (including Thames) to supply resilient services to customers, securing long term investment for essential infrastructure, while keeping bills affordable and protecting the environment. Ofwat has consistently made it clear that companies like Thames must urgently improve and that customers will not pay twice to make good their past failures.”

Angela Richardson MP

Angela Richardson told The Guildford Dragon NEWS: “Having a tough and effective water regulator is vital for residents of Guildford and the surrounding villages whose confidence in Thames Water has been seriously tested recently.

“I am pleased to be meeting David Black, Ofwat’s Chief Executive, soon to discuss what measures the regulator can take to monitor Thames Water’s infrastructure and ensure it increases its resilience.

“Concerns of residents are being listened to by this government. The Environment Act has given Ofwat new powers to crack down on water companies making excessive pay-outs to their shareholders when the company is not meeting required performance standards.

“I am ensuring Thames Water is held accountable and I am determined that residents get the answers they deserve.”

Jeremy Hunt MP

And Jeremy Hunt, the MP for South West Surrey, commented: “I would be pleased to meet Ofwat with Angela Richardson MP – only last week 572 homes in my constituency were impacted once again with low supply. Thames Water’s recent poor performance on compensation payments and communication has eroded trust and they must work to rebuild this.

“After the December public meeting, Thames Water fitted monitors across their sites to investigate the power fluctuations which caused the major loss of supply in November.  I am encouraged Thames Water will be sharing its findings and a proposed solution at the next public meeting, scheduled for March. We need to see promised local infrastructure investment to avoid further outages.”

The date for the public meeting in March has yet to be announced.

See also: Thames Water Representatives Face Angry Residents Who Suffered Loss of Water Supply

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