August 13th, 2022.

Lewes Lib Dems release and image:

Lewes Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to ban bonuses for Southern and South Eastern Water after revealing they paid their company executives eye-watering bonuses, despite failing to fix leaking pipes ahead of this summer's drought.

The Liberal Democrats have blamed Southern and South East Water for people in Lewes, Seaford, Newhaven and Polegate now facing weeks of hosepipe bans.

James MacCleary has highlighted a local example, as a sinkhole in Seaford on Crouch Lane opened up following after a damaged water pipe. The sinkhole spread across the entire road, and nearby houses had their water supply turned off. This area is covered by South East Water.

Water company bosses from Southern Water were awarded £1,719,500, in bonuses despite companies leaking billions of litres of water every day. South East Water meanwhile received £645,823 in bonuses. Some water companies such as Thames Water lose up to a quarter of all their water from leaks alone.

That money should be going into fixing their leaking pipes instead, said James MacCleary.

Water companies have only promised to halve leaks by 2050 despite predictions of a rise in summer droughts as record temperatures continue to be broken.

England’s water company bosses have awarded themselves almost £27 million in bonuses over the past two years, despite reports they allow a staggering 2.4 billion litres of water to be leaked every day.

Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Lewes, James MacCleary, said: “As the ground opened up in Seaford, rats came scurrying out, water flowed out, and the appalling state of our water infrastructure was incredibly apparent. This is wasteful and frankly not good enough. We have to invest in fixing it, to avoid big costs and repairs in the future.

“It is outrageous that whilst thousands of people in Sussex suffer from hosepipe bans, water company bosses reward themselves with these bonuses despite not even bothering to fix leaks.

“The worst part is, ministers are just letting water firms get away with scandal after scandal and residents in our area are sick of it. These are the very same water companies which pollute our local rivers with disgusting sewage, harming animals and people swimming in them.

“It is time someone stood up to these companies and demanded action. That should start with fixing these leaks, and then once and for all ending the sewage pumping into waterways.”
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