THERE was a time when local water was supplied by the council and you paid for it along with the rates.

When the second reservoir was built at Farmoor, the council predicted that this area would be well supplied with water into the foreseeable future.

Then the Government decided, in its wisdom, that it should be taken out of local control and be privatised, in a package which included The Thames Conservancy.

Immediately you could smell problems looming and, since a private company is interested only in profits for its shareholders, it quickly made it known that it did not want The Thames Conservancy, forcing the Government to set up The Environment Agency.

Private companies quickly saw that there were easy profits to be made and Thames Water went into foreign hands (Kemble Water Holdings Ltd, a consortium of institutional investors managed by the Macquarie Capital Funds (Europe) Limited, acquired Thames Water in 2006).

Today we see the results of this company being out of local control, with water prices going through the roof, Farmoor water being sold elsewhere, abandoned attempts to build another reservoir near Abingdon and, to add to local problems, we are now being asked to help fund the super sewer work in London, called the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Further, who would now claim that the Environment Agency was an adequate replacement for The Thames Conservancy? Is it any wonder that people feel anger at the London bill?

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