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Lambourn flooding: Newbury MP Laura Farris accused Thames Water chief of ‘putting profits before people





A RIVER of raw sewage is once again flowing through Lambourn.

Following a two-year respite, the village is again inundated and filth is pouring into the River Lambourn.

Angry residents are joining forces with neighbouring villages to put pressure on Thames Water.

In nearby Great Shefford, some residents have been unable to use their toilets, washing machines, sinks or showers.

One Lambourn resident said: “It’s not just raw sewage – I know it’s disgusting to even think about but there’s condoms and tampons in the road.

“Our children have to wade through it all to get to school and the smell is abominable.

“We shouldn’t have to live like this.”

Meanwhile Newbury MP Laura Farris has said she is furious with the utilities giant and has written to chief executive Chris Weston, accusing him of putting profit before customers.

And she told the Newbury Weekly News she believed she may have been deceived and fobbed off by the company.

Her letter said, in part: “You will by now be aware that raw sewage has been consistently flowing through the streets, into the river and, in some cases, backing up into residents’ homes.

“This is completely unacceptable, a breach of your statutory duty to consumers and presents a significant public health risk.

“The last time this area experienced significant flooding was in 2020.

“You (or your predecessors) will recall that at the time I made a significant effort to get Thames Water to overhaul the sewers in Lambourn which were leaking, old and had been poorly maintained.

“Thames Water undertook to carry out a complete sewer relining exercise and seal up manholes.

“I have to say it was like getting blood out of a stone to get Thames Water to do anything then and I have long harboured significant concerns that you place profit before your customers.”

She added: “Since 2020 I spent the next two years holding quarterly roundtables with Thames Water employees to get an update on the progress of the work.

“I was given assurances that the work had been comprehensively conducted.

“Four years later, it is apparent this is not true.”

Mrs Farris told the NWN: “I’m furious.

“I have spoken to the minister (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Robbie Moore) and he is also angry.

“I understand he is going to contact Thames Water directly; I think there should be a significant fine.

“This situation can’t continue – it’s a clear public health risk and completely intolerable.”

Raw sewage going into the River Lambourn in Wantage Road, Lambourn
Raw sewage going into the River Lambourn in Wantage Road, Lambourn
Raw sewage going into the River Lambourn in Wantage Road, Lambourn
Raw sewage going into the River Lambourn in Wantage Road, Lambourn
Raw sewage going into the River Lambourn in Wantage Road, Lambourn
Raw sewage going into the River Lambourn in Wantage Road, Lambourn
Raw sewage going into the River Lambourn in Wantage Road, Lambourn
Raw sewage going into the River Lambourn in Wantage Road, Lambourn

Thames Water has yet to respond.



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