Will Forster

Campaigning to be the Lib Dem MP for Woking, Deputy Leader of Woking Borough Council and Councillor in South Woking Learn more

Lib Dems call for Thames Water to be put into Special Administration

by willforster on 7 April, 2024

The Liberal Democrats and I have called for the Government to put Thames Water into Special Administration in the wake of bankruptcy fears. 

Last month, the Government passed updated legislation which allows the High Court to appoint a special administrator to take over a failing water firm.  Thames Water is in chaos; its CEO was recently sacked, its debts have risen to a reported £18 billion and it is now in talks with the government about contingency plans for financial collapse.

This month, Thames Water also refused to fund a new sewage clean up project.  Thames Water has caused local outrage following it polluting both the River Bourne and River Wey.

Under new Government rules, the taxpayer would not be liable for the firm’s debts, which would stay with the holding company.  The Special Administrator could ensure:

  • The taps keep running for local people
  • The company would re-start efforts to stop harmful sewage discharges into rivers and lakes
  • Executive bonuses would no longer be paid, after the firm paid out £8 million to senior officials in recent years

The Lib Dems’ proposal for Thames Water would lead to the firm being reformed as a Public Benefit Company, with an environmentalist on the company board.  The company would work in the public interest as well as for shareholders.

I think the Government must ensure they use new powers to keep the taps running for local people, with Thames Water on the brink of bankruptcy.  Ministers must act now before it’s too late.

So far, this Government has watched from the sidelines as asset-strippers run Thames Water into the ground.  Thames Water bosses have been profiteering off sewage dumping for years, and this must be the end of the line for them.

People around here have had enough of Thames Water hiking bills and destroying the local environment.  The final straw was when Thames Water bosses recently refused to stump up the cash for new sewage investments.

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