MP: Thames Water has "serious questions to answer" over Hughenden sewage saga (From Bucks Free Press)
Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or upload here
MP: Thames Water has "serious questions to answer" over Hughenden sewage saga
MP David Lidington said Thames Water has "serious questions to answer" after admitting he was shocked by the extent of the sewage problem in a residential road.
The Aylesbury MP visited constituents who have been busy digging trenches, piling sandbags and pumping sewage out of their homes after manholes in Valley Road, Hughenden Valley, overflowed last month.
Mr Lidington said he would be writing a letter to the chairman of Thames Water, Sir Peter Mason, demanding immediate action.
He said: "It is shocking what residents are having to put up with and I admire their stoicism and the tactical approach they have taken to this awful situation
"It is intolerable, residents have sewage flowing through their gardens, which goes to channels into High Wycombe, there’s also sewage overflowing by bus-stops used by schoolchildren - it’s a health hazard.
"It’s not right that people who pay their bills to Thames Water appear to have been ignored and I’m unimpressed with the description given to me about the approach taken by Thames Water.
"I will be writing immediately to the chairman of Thames Water to ask for immediate action to alleviate the flooding and then there needs to be a cross-agency plan put down to stop this from happening again."
Mr Lidington spent about 45 minutes talking to residents and taking in the problem during the visit with Buckinghamshire County Councillor David Carroll on Saturday morning and praised the community spirit.
He said: "The small silver lining out of this is the community spirit we are seeing and I was made to feel very welcome.
"People are understandably anxious; they are physically and emotionally tired. I spoke to one man who has been checking the pump every two hours, 24 hours a day, he says he’s not slept for two weeks.
"They understand the floods victims are worse off so are getting on with it by hiring the pumps but what about Thames Water paying for them?
"There seems to be some serious questions that need to be asked as bill paying residents are feeling pretty sore at the way they are being treated and I think they are perfectly entitled to do so."
David White, who has lived in his home for 30 years and has been a figurehead in the clean-up efforts, was thankful for the MP’s visit.
He said: "Mr Lidington was very helpful and appalled. I appreciate there is no magic bullet he said he would use the headed paper to help us.
"Thames Water have told us they would not help with the pumps so we are going to keep going and then chase them up at a later date - but the sewage problem is a serious, wider issue that is not going to go away."
Thames Water spokesman Sarah Sharpe said: "The wettest winter on record has meant our sewer network, which is only designed to take away wastewater from homes and businesses, has been overwhelmed with floodwater.
"Groundwater in the area is exceptionally high and is causing our sewers to discharge.
"A team visits the road every other day to monitor the water levels in the sewer and check for blockages. No blockages have been found, which suggests the problem is the sheer volume of water in our network."
Comments are closed on this article.