A considerable increase in Thames Water household bills over the next six years was one of the issues discussed in the first full 2024 Vale of White Horse District Council meeting.

Council deliberations encompassed a variety of topics including the district budget, flooding, and public toilets.

During the council meeting held on February 21, a motion against the proposed price surge by Thames Water was passed.

Oxford Mail: Thames Water head officeThames Water head office (Image: NQ)

Councillor Emily Smith presented the motion, highlighting the council's worries over Thames Water's plans to increase household water bills to an average of £735 by 2030.

This would mark a 60 per cent increase in cash terms.

The council has decided to mount pressure against the proposed increase.

They have requested for the council leader to communicate their objections to the chair and chief executive of Ofwat and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Copies of this correspondence will also be sent to the MPs for Oxford West and Abingdon and Wantage constituencies.

Oxford Mail: Councillor Bethia ThomasCouncillor Bethia Thomas (Image: Oxford Mail)

Council leader Bethia Thomas said: "We're doing everything we can to maintain pressure on Thames Water, which continues to put profit and shareholders before the needs of residents and its customers.

"The company continues to pursue its plans for a gigantic reservoir that would decimate the countryside of our district, while pumping raw sewage into our rivers, and now has the audacity to hike prices way, way above sky-high inflation right in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis."

As well as the water bill issue, the council meeting also approved the 2024-2025 Vale of White Horse District Council revenue budget and the capital programme for 2024/25 to 2028/2029.

This decision is aimed at maintaining the council's stable financial position, securing services, and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable residents through the council tax reduction scheme for 2024/2025.

They also appointed a council chair and a vice-chair for the remaining 2023/24 municipal year.

The debated topics comprised a review by the Environment Agency of flood plains and flood zones in light of recent flooding, concerns about land safety contaminated by flood water, a call for the proposed Thames Water Resource Plan to undergo public scrutiny, and an update request on the proposed Water Resource Officer Member Liaison Group.

There was also a query about the level of consultation with ward members regarding the draft Water Resources Management Plan 2024, issues related to LGBT+ History month, power cuts in the district, and charging for public toilets.

More information about the council's budget can be found on their website.