Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Super Sewer: Boris overrules H&F Council

sewerAnswering questions yesterday from GLA members, Mayor of London Boris Johnson was asked directly whether or not he had met with H&F Council over the need for the new sewer to stop the thousands of tons of, lets call a spade a spade, raw poo spilling into the river every time we get heavy rain.

Boris is clearly irritated by his Conservative colleagues at Hammersmith Town Hall. Very irritated. In his answers he does not dispute that the council's opposition to the tunnel is described as "ill-informed" and states that he has "required" our Council to recognise the strategic need for the tunnel to be built. I actually don't know whether he has the power to formally overrule the council but these answers sound like he does.

In his first answer the Mayor actually says he is "optimistic" that H&F Council will support the project. Which roughly translates as a message to COuncil Leader Stephen Greenhalgh to "drop your silly opposition sonny and do what you're told".  Given our esteemed council's die-in-the-ditches-fight-them-on-the-beaches approach to this, complete with letters that we have all been sent as residents at our expense, can we expect a spectacular U-turn from the Council to be in the offing now?

It's all shaping up nicely for this public meeting later this week. Hope to see some of you there.

The full questions and answers from the Mayor are set out below. They were published yesterday:

Thames Tideway Tunnel (1)

Question No: 2452 / 2009

Mike Tuffrey

Have you or officers met with Hammersmith and Fulham to ensure that the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel is not delayed; given that so far this year the Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) at Hammersmith, Lots Road, Western and Abbey Mills have discharged more than 10 million cubic meters of storm sewage - enough to fill over 4000 Olympic swimming pools.

Answer from the Mayor:

My officers have met with Hammersmith & Fulham Council.  I have also made a representation in respect of the Council’s Core Strategy Development Plan Document requiring the recognition of the strategic need for this project.

The Hammersmith area will be one of the key areas to benefit from the sewer tunnel and I am optimistic that the Council will support the project provided that appropriate assurances about its construction and re-instatement are provided. 

Thames Tideway Tunnel (2)

Question No: 2453 / 2009

Mike Tuffrey

Will you be forwarding a copy of your Water Strategy to Hammersmith and Fulham Council and asking the Leader to drop his ill-informed opposition to the Thames Tideway Tunnel?

Answer from the Mayor:

Hammersmith & Fulham, along with all other London borough councils, is being invited to comment on the draft Water Strategy.

My officers have met with Hammersmith & Fulham and set out the clear strategic need for this project whilst appreciating that there will be local concerns that need to be addressed through the design, construction management and re-instatement phases of its implementation.

16 September update - the advertiser led local press have caught up with this a day after it appeared here: you know where you heard it first folks.. I note they dont credit this blog.


  1. [...] rather makes the case for the new sewer that Thames Water wants to build, the Mayor of London has told them to build but that our council has demanded be stopped. I just wonder how our council are going [...]

  2. [...] this about as badly as they could have done – ending up with even the Conservative Mayor against their campaign to stop the tunnel is evidence enough of that. Their performance at this meeting was probably in [...]

  3. [...] that the Mayor has effectively overruled the Council it may seem that these questions are in the past, but our Council has been running [...]

  4. [...] have to say I thought the last straw for our Council on this campaign might be being overruled by their own conservative Mayor. I even thought that this intervention by Thames Water using this [...]

  5. [...] large scale sewer that Thames Water are proposing to build, supported by both the Government and Mayor of London, to raise the capacity of the sewer network that flows under H&F and other boroughs which [...]