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Welsh Water slammed by Lib Dems for bill increases to tackle sewage flowing into rivers and seas

30 Mar 2023 2 minute read
Sewage being discharged into a river

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have slammed the bosses of Welsh Water after it told the Welsh Affairs Committee that customers in Wales faced “significant bill increases” to pay for measures to stop sewage being released into rivers and seas.

The Welsh Lib Dems have argued that the large bonuses Welsh Water pays to its bosses, amounting over £1 million in the last three years alone, “makes a mockery” of the company calling itself a ‘non-profit’.

The party has called for a ban on bonuses until the sewage dumping crisis has been solved and for the money to be redirected into improving infrastructure.

Welsh Water has also come under fire in recent months for upping water prices for customers despite these large bonuses and for maintenance problems causing large parts of west Wales to be left without running water last year.

Six of the worst polluted rivers in the UK are found in Wales including River Teifi, River Usk, River Wye, River Tawe, Menai Strait and River Taf.

Rhyl and Morfa Nefyn are both included in the top ten most polluted coastal spots in the UK.


Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: “It is absolutely ridiculous Welsh Water now expect taxpayers in Wales to pay to clean up their mess while they have spent years siphoning off money to pay themselves large bonus.

“We know the Conservatives have utterly failed to tackle sewage dumping, with almost all of their Welsh MPs having voted against stronger action to ban the practice.

“Yet the Welsh Labour Government isn’t also without power to take a stand on this issue.

“While rivers in regions like my own such as the Wye, Tawe, Usk, Teifi and Severn continue to seriously decline in health the bosses of Welsh Water are using the publics money to give themselves handsome bonuses rather than reinvest the money into infrastructure improvements and the Government have failed to regulate them.

“The whole thing makes a mockery of the idea Welsh Water is a ‘non-profit’. The Welsh and UK Governments must work to ban these bonuses and mandate the infrastructure improvements we need.

“Our rivers and the wildlife in them are running out of time.”

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10 months ago

Good of the LibDems to wake up to the mockery of the “not for profit” tag. Shame Labour and Plaid don’t want to comment or intervene given their combined position. As for the Tories well they probably think it’s all a jolly good wheeze! Dwr Cymru has become a haven for entitled overpaid cluster of execs and non execs.

Max Wallis
Max Wallis
10 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

First, unlike in England the WelshGovt is not requiring reducing discharges to sea
Second, WW major fault is not requiring developers to pay for sewerage upgrades to meet the Sewage Treatment requirements, because Labour in Wales went for newbuild housing at lowest cost.
Who should now pay for Labour’s sewerage legacy?
10 months ago

Dwr Cymru, more so than other water companies are a most dysfunctional setup. Those employed directly understand very little about running such an infrastructure resulting in most of the business and Engineering being offloaded to 3rd parties on renewable 5yr contracts. The vast majority of whom are English companies charging eye watering fees.

An inevitable consequence when there is no accountability, no consumer choice, and the regulator Offwat being a slave to the industry rather than a master.

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