And on behalf of water and sewage companies in England, I want to say: we are sorry. We get why people are upset and they are right that we should have given this issue much more attention. Rivers and beaches are often not at the standard the public rightly expect; we are sorry for the part we have played in that.
We want to put things right.”
Sounds good but unfortunately she also expects consumers to pay higher bills after years of paying out in extraordinary dividends to shareholders and pay to fat cats. The industry paid out £1.4bn to shareholders in 2022.
Izzy Ross from SAS said
““Water companies have seemingly bared their souls and told us they’re going to change. But why should we trust them? They’ve overseen decades of mismanagement of our sewerage network, all the while siphoning off tens of billions to shareholders and paying the fat cats at the top huge pay and bonuses. And this new plan is no different with consumers set to foot the bill, again. We won’t stand for it.
It’s clear that the water companies are on the back foot and that community activism demanding an end to sewage pollution is working. And we’re not going to let up the fight. We’re calling on everyone who stands against water companies’ profiteering to join us in protest this Saturday. It’s time to tell them that we won’t take their shit any longer.”
Feargal Sharkey told the BBC called it another attempt to extract more money from customers.
“What I am actually hearing is no apology for the fact we have paid them for a service we haven’t got, they are now suggesting we pay them a second time for a service we haven’t had,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“We should have an apology for the suggestion they are going to put bills up by £10bn for their incompetence and their greed. This is nothing to celebrate.”
The water industry did the same thing in the 90s with companies like SWW implementing the Clean Sweep programme which saw it’s customers, some 400,000 which in Cornwall are in the most deprived areas of Europe, have the highest water bills in the country.