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Wales must be paid more than a ‘pittance’ for water say Plaid Cymru as union call for canal to London

17 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Elwyn Vaughan, left. Llyn Efyrnwy in Powys. Picture by Sue Tupling (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Wales must be paid more than a “pittance” for its water, Plaid Cymru have said after an union called for a new canal taking water from the north of Wales to London.

GMB London suggested pumping the water from Lake Vyrnwy in Powys to the south-east of England to help deal with the drought there.

But Plaid Cymru leader in Powys, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan, said that Wales was paid very little for its “valuable” water while CEOs at water companies were paid massive salaries.

The GMB London plan would see water pumped from Wales to the Cotswold canals and down the Sapperton Canal Tunnel in Gloucester.

Mark Holland, GMB London Regional Organiser for the water industry, said: “Thames Water should accept the water being offered by United Utilities from Lake Vyrnwy and get it to the Thames via the restoration of the Cotswold canals and Sapperton tunnel.

“This plan was covered in the Thames Water 2019 draft plan for water supply for London in the 21st century but is not included in the current list of things Thames Water plan to do.

“Instead of this very workable plan one of the things Thames Water is planning to rely on is the hope of consumers cutting daily consumption from 145 litres to 125 litres.”

‘Financial problems’

However, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan told the union to “get your house in order before taking more of Welsh water”.

“You pay a pittance for what is already taken, merely 3p a tonne or 1,000 litres,” he said. “Yet water industry bosses are paid a fortune with reports that Thames Water bosses were awarded bonuses of £2.4m in 2020 and 2021 despite the company losing up to a quarter of all its water from leaks.

“Likewise build the long awaited new reservoir at Abingdon, a proposal which has been circulating since 2006 and restart the desalination plant to assist matters.

“The Gateway Water Treatment Works in Beckton, east London takes water from the Thames Estuary, treats it and makes drinking water. It was completed in 2010 to be used during dry weather events.

“It has the capacity to deliver up to 100 million litres of water a day – it has been used during dry spells to boost Thames Water’s reservoirs in London – yet has been switched off during the current hot spell!

“This further highlights the need for water to be seen as a valuable resource, a commodity and Wales is fortunate to have it, however, we cannot allow it to be taken and used by large corporations and fritted away whilst our communities get a pittance from it.

“Imagine the benefits to Powys if we merely got 1p a litre for it – the financial problems of our public services locally would be solved.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Do What !

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

No, M.M , – tell them to “do one” ! It is evident that unions as well as management in the English water industry are not prepared to address the problems of their leaky network. They keep telling themselves that there’s loads of water in those western hills and they can just help themselves to it so no need to get a sweat up worrying about fixing leaks. Typical wasteful attitude of a colonialist entity.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago
Reply to  hdavies15

It translates into don’t be daft or say that again but with an invitation to John to think again but if we humour them we might just get the funds to finish the Montgomery canal to Newtown and the Llanymynach bit. The old wharf in Welshpool is a lovely spot.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mab Meirion
Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Someone has to come up with an explosive answer to this suggestion. Something that will make them sit up and take notice.

Kiosk
Kiosk
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Nice words Gareth. I couldn’t agree more. Spot on!

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Kiosk

Diolch 😀

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago

Dwr Cymru. For Wales not for profit should now read… Dwr Cymru. For England? O.K., but at a fair price. And we set the terms and conditions. Water will become the new oil, so let it rain in independent tropical Wales. Harnessing our resources to finance our nation is, and always has been the way forward in a nation that is the fifth largest exporter of electricity on earth, while a third of our population live in fuel poverty.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew

Unfortunately, United Utilities own Fyrnwy. They are ALREADY stealing our water from our valley that they flooded. Currently being wasted as backup for Liverpool, they will instead waste it on London.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Unless we gain independence as soon as possible – water will be the next Welsh resource running east with little benefit for the Welsh population. Enough of this neglect and plundering.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago

1p a litre. Make it £1 a litre. It’ll still be cheaper than petrol.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago

The Wales Water Scandle has been going for years and years / since the days of Llyn Celyn and Gwynfor.

PC always led the way / but cannot recall them ever raising it durring my time on The Wales Conusmer Council for Water.

Elwyn V makes a good point

The original mark
The original mark
1 month ago

Rather disappointing to hear this sort of talk coming from a trades union, taking the side of the bosses.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

No. It’s our water. They can’t have it. If there’s not enough water in SE England, like Norman Goering Tebbit said: Get on yer bike. Plenty of water in Yorkshire

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

Well the Romans took the gold, the Saxons took the coal. with zero benefit to Wales so no surprise they are back for our water.

Martin Thomas
Martin Thomas
1 month ago

Cut or reduce supplies now until the Saxon Government pay a fair price. We may still be in a si called Union but even Union members have to pay fair dues. It is only natural resource we have left, since they shut off coal. Cmon Cymru, stand up to them!

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