Wes Streeting MP slams Thames Water flood response

Wes Streeting during a visit to Coburg Gardens after flood waters tore through the neighbourhood on Sunday, July 25

Wes Streeting during a visit to Coburg Gardens after flood waters tore through the neighbourhood on Sunday, July 25 - Credit: Wes Streeting MP

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting has written to Thames Water criticising their flood response and demanding urgent repair and upgrade works across the constituency.  

The Labour MP wrote to the water company’s chief executive officer after hearing from residents who spent hours on the phone to the company on hold as their homes flooded. 

Around a month’s worth of rain fell in three hours on Sunday July 25, and Mr Streeting visited some of the worst affected areas in Redbridge that day with council leader Cllr Jas Athwal and deputy leader Cllr Kam Rai. 

Mr Streeting wrote: “If we are going to see these extreme weather patterns more often then Thames Water need to urgently ensure that our water drainage systems are fit for purpose.  

“Redbridge Council have stepped in to help clear the mess caused by the floods and have offered waste collection support to residents.  

“Thames Water now need to step up and undertake urgent maintenance, repairs and upgrades of the water drainage infrastructure to ensure that this does not happen again.” 

He also wrote to some of the residents living in the worst affected areas to offer his support in any disputes that they may have with insurance companies or housing associations following damage caused by flood water. 

Between 200 and 300 homes near the bottom end of Clayhall Avenue were flooded, with Peel Place, Vienna Close and Coburg Gardens the worst affected roads

In the aftermath of the flooding, Jas Athwal branded Thames Water's response "woefully inadequate"

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A Thames Water spokesperson said that they “sympathise” with customers affected by the flooding and noted that they had extra staff on standby during the extreme weather event and were offering support to the London borough emergency planning teams. 

They added: “Our call centre has also been exceptionally busy, which we’re taking action to address, and we’re really sorry if customers had to wait a long time to speak to someone. 

“These kinds of intense storms look set to become the new normal across the UK, and ensuring our network can operate sufficiently to prevent or mitigate flash flooding needs to now become the collective new focus for all organisations involved in the UK’s water network and drainage systems.”