Last Friday I hosted a public meeting with Chris Weston, the new CEO of Thames Water to discuss the water outages, slow compensation payments, and sewage spills in Godalming, Milford, Bramley, and the surrounding areas.

In November, those areas suffered major water outages, which meant that many families had limited or no water supply for almost an entire week.

This happened again in Bramley on Boxing Day – really terrible timing. These issues affected 18,000 homes, closed 60 schools, meant that businesses lost thousands of pounds in trade, and very worryingly had an impact on hospitals and care homes too.

My team (and Angela Richardson MP) have worked hard to represent those households since the outage, with 328 cases answered directly by my office and many more people contacting me via social media.  

My priorities for the meeting were making sure that these issues won't be repeated and that everyone is paid the right amount of compensation. We were therefore also joined by Ofwat’s CEO and chairman and the CEO of the Consumer Council for Water, as well as other Thames Water representatives. 

Given that November’s water outages were caused by a power failure, it was encouraging to hear that there is now an uninterrupted power supply at Shalford Water Treatment.

The meeting was also an opportunity for Chris Weston to see for himself the widespread and continued dissatisfaction with the compensation arrangements.

As a result, he agreed to meet three representatives of the affected customers personally. On top of the compensation payments, Thames Water have offered every affected customer £30.

Ofwat’s CEO also made its first-ever public commitment that Thames Water customers will not have to pick up the tab for Thames Water’s management failings with higher bills. 

On the whole there is some encouraging progress, but not all of the problems have been resolved. I will therefore host a third public meeting in June on the issue.

I am determined to continue holding Thames Water to account because I don’t want any of my constituents – whether in Bramley, Godalming, Farnham, or Haslemere – ever to be at risk of suffering from further outages.