📄 A scam or a reservoir?

From  Peter Oliver
(Labour Party member, St Faiths ward)
To  The Hayling Herald
7 February 2023

The Leader of Havant Borough Council, Councillor Alex Rennie, is set to host and chair a public meeting being held at the Public Service Plaza, Civic Centre Road, Havant on Wednesday 15 February at 5pm.

We are being invited to endorse a proposal by the private monopoly, Southern Water, to approve what in all appearance is an infrastructure scheme; whereas in reality it is a scheme to increase our bills to pay for their infrastructure.

Southern Water is the same monopoly which is regularly fined by Ofwat for failing to do its duty.  It discharges effluent into the Langstone and Chichester Harbours and the Havant Borough Council is powerless to control them while having a Local plan to build houses and exacerbate the problem.

Havant Borough Council boasts that it is working closely with its partners, but it is a disturbingly unequal relationship where the interests of the people in the borough are routinely sacrificed to those of building corporations or Southern Water.

The UK privatised water companies have paid their shareholders £96 billion and their executives handsomely while failing to deliver the service they should.  They routinely discharge the sewage back into our environment.

They are now asking us to pay for their investment in their infrastructure.  The golden promise of privatisation was that it would attract new private investment.  Who would have thought that this meant devising schemes to involuntarily fund their infrastructure to protect their investors’ dividends from their customers’ bills?

This new proposal is the height of arrogance and impertinence.  If they can supply clean water for our consumption why can’t they discharge clean water into the harbours as they are currently required to do?

Shouldn’t the Council demand they do that first?

Have we been so completely indoctrinated that we don’t recognise when we are being taken for a ride?

This business model is about as perfect as one could devise.  It allows Southern Water to increase customer bills while not requiring them to do their current job.  It allows Southern Water to expand its service by diverting the “purified” water which it should currently be discharging into the harbour as a product to be sold to Portsmouth Water instead.  Presumably the water will add a permanent income stream to Southern Water.  Nice work if you can get it!!

We are being asked to approve this business model at the consultation under the disguise of a technical proposal.

Is this just an elaborate scam being paraded in plain sight?

Do you remember the public used to own this whole shit-show?  We paid the Council water rates.  It used to be accountable to us; not briefly displayed at a one-off consultation with the true implications hidden and the full consequences irretrievably lost beyond our control.

How is it that the council is hosting this when they are supposed to represent us?

They can give Planning Consent or not which is the one piece of leverage they have at their command but appear to be sponsoring this travesty.

Peter Oliver

Click here for our article about Southern Water’s proposal.

Click here to see other correspondence.