Over the past few weeks, Munira has continued to press Thames Water, and the Government, on plans to tackle water shortages by pumping treated sewage into the river above Teddington Lock.
- On 19 January, Munira held an urgent meeting with Thames Water officials. Munira and Cllr Julia Neden-Watts and raised local concerns, including the proposal’s impacts on biodiversity in the river, chemical contaminants, flood resilience, and fixing leaks. In the meeting, Munira asked Thames Water to consider further public meetings in Twickenham and/or Teddington.
- Munira wrote a joint letter, together with MP for Richmond Park Sarah Olney, to the CEO of Thames Water, calling for better public engagement and accountability. Following the letter, Thames Water have confirmed that they are working to putting a second community information even at a more spacious venue in place, along with an online webinar. Munira will continue to push for a Q&A, to allow local groups to highlight their concerns directly.
- In Parliament, Munira tabled a Written Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Munira asked the Secretary of State what assessment her department has made of the proposals, specifically on the impact on biodiversity and water quality. The response is that they are “reviewing” the proposals.
The Liberal Democrats have been leading a national campaign on the water industry – with a special focus on the scandals around sewage and water quality. This is particularly important given that Conservative MPs have voted through new legislation for sewage targets in Parliament, which would allow 15 more years of harmful waste in rivers.
“In order to ensure that Thames Water are held to account over the potential impact of this scheme on the environment, we must have ambitious standards on water quality and ecology written into law,” says Munira.
- Munira tabled a Written Question on the Government’s Environment Improvement Plan, which refers to water recycling schemes, such as that proposed at Teddington, to mitigate drought. Munira is seeking clarity on the impact topping up rivers with effluent will have on phosphate levels and other factors, such as anti-microbials.
- Munira voted for a successful Liberal Democrat amendment to the UK Infrastructure Bank Bill, tabled by Liberal Democrat MP Richard Foord, that would stop taxpayer money going to water companies unless the discharges stop.
“I will continue to hold Thames Water and the Government to account on this, and ensure the plans are thoroughly scrutinised,” says Munira.
You can make your views heard via the ongoing public consultation, which closes on 21 March. More ways to make your voice heard here:
Submit your views online
Write to Thames Water by e-mail or post
Post: Freepost, Thames Water WRMP Consultation
Write to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Post: Defra Water Resources Management Plan Water Services, Seacole 3rd Floor, 2 Marsham Street, London, SW1 P 4DF