HAVING spent the best part of 23 years working in the water industry, I am appalled by Labour’s plans to re-nationalise the industry. During the the TV debate hosted by Fiona Bruce, Jeremy Corbyn stated, in support of his nationalisation programme, that since privatisation, “the assets of the water industry had been totally stripped”. This is completely untrue.
In the days of local government control, the Regional Water Authorities were chronically underfunded and there was an old saying – “There are no votes in sewage”.
Consequently nobody spent any money on the replacement or improvement of the assets of our waste water treatment plants. Virtually little had changed since Victorian times and our plants were old and in poor condition.
Since privatisation the water companies, regulated by Ofwat, have spent millions improving the infrastructure. We now have a world class water industry, delivering clean wholesome drinking water and treating our waste to a very high standard.
If you want the proof look at the condition of our rivers. Forty years ago the river Don flowing through South Yorkshire was a dead river. Now it is teeming with fish and even salmon have started to return up river.