Elected politicians attending Tidefest, a festival to celebrate the River Thames.
We aim to meet with political representatives on a wide variety of issues in a number of ways. This includes a programme of discussions with MPs, peers, Council leaders and London Assembly Members, for them to find out more about what we do, and raise concerns on behalf of the people they represent.
It’s been a busy year in UK politics and at a national level we’ve been working hard to actively contribute to the debate around key issues for us including the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and the debate on the ownership of the industry.
On a more local level we continued to engage with MPs and Councillors to discuss constituency issues including the impact of the beast from the east and high profile trunk main bursts as well as what we’re doing to support development.
Much of our efforts this year focussed on talking to customers and stakeholders about our draft PR19 Business Plan and our draft Water Resources Management Plan. We want the views stakeholders to help shape our plans so we hosted a series of political lunches and briefings to capture their thoughts. Later in the year we held a series of roundtable events with business leaders to understand their perspectives on our plans. There will be line of site from the feedback we captured to the content of our future plans.
We continued to work closely with the Mayor of London’s office and Assembly Members and helped shape the content of the Mayor’s London Environment Strategy. Towards the end of the year we worked closely with the London Assembly Environment Committee on a review into the impact of non-flushable products like wet wipes on London’s sewer network. We continue to work closely with the committee and its new Chair as the report is prepared for publication.
We started the year by helping shape Defra’s Strategic Policy Statement to Ofwat and ended it by working collaboratively with the National Infrastructure Commission ahead of the publication of its ‘preparing for a drier future’ report at the end of the year. In addition to working with branches of government we continued to work closely with environmental groups and NGOs like Thames 21, Blueprint for Water, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) and London Wildlife Trust (LWT). A highlight of the year was celebrating a long awaited reduction in abstraction levels in the River Kennet (and the surrounding area) with our long term partners Action for the River Kennet (ARK).