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Saturday, 8 November 2008

London's Super Sewer - Pro or Con?


I never thought I'd be giving a hat-tip to Hammersmith & Fulham Council, but thankfully its Leader has warned residents of the £2.2bn "Super Sewer" that Thames Water plans to build under the Thames.

Somehow I'd missed all the kerfuffle.

Not content with writing to residents, the Council has also launched a petition that's been signed by over 1,500 people, and we are invited to a public meeting on the subject at Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, on Monday 17 November 2008, at 7.00pm.

The Council is concerned that the Super Sewer is the "wrong solution to the wrong problem", is too costly (adding £200 p.a. to water bills), too disruptive (8 years of construction), will destroy open space, and is merely designed to avoid EU pollution fines that are open to challenge in any event. It recommends an independent study to review the problem, solutions and alternatives.

I confess to being somewhat perplexed, and would be interested to get a balanced view before choosing "sides", even if backing the Council only results in an independent study. It would be nice to see a concise summary of the problem, it's size, root causes and possible solutions - though not while eating a curry.

Having been less than impressed at the investment in maintaining London's creaking infrastructure to date, I'm wary of undermining Thames Water's enthusiasm on that front without a very good reason.

But the Council did a great job in opposing the West London Tram, and has shown itself to be very effective in arousing public support on this occasion too. Maybe it's on the right track again, if you'll excuse the pun.

Looks like I'll have to turn up to the debate.
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