Ah yes, the subject of poo again. The subject of the Thames Tideway Tunnel, or "Super Sewer Crater" to use its Hollywood-style name used by our Council in their campaign against it. This, of course, is the 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 border the Thames, ultimately to stop so much raw poo being flushed into the river. This happens very frequently as these figures showed last year and is also the reason why the UK is about to be fined by the EU for polluting the river so much.
Our Victorian pipes, you see, are just that - Victorian. Unlike modern pipes which are seperate they carry nearly all of NW London's rainwater and sewage together at the same time so when you have lots of rain plus poo - out it goes into the Thames - or in the worst case scenarios into people's houses in Hammersmith too.
Our Council has long fought a very public campaign against the Tunnel, raising the spectre of our green spaces being decimated by "super craters" - but as Thames Water told this blog, much of what the Council claimed was actually a load of old, well, poo - and they knew it at the same time as saying as spending our money continuing these scare stories.
Now it appears H&F has recruited next door Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in their fight against the sewer. Deputy Leader Daniel Moylan has joined H&F Leader Stephen Greenhalgh in warning that the decision may be taken over their heads anyway as an issue of London-wide importance. Daniel Moylan said:
“It is outrageous that DEFRA, Thames Water and the government are attempting to bypass and overrule the planning powers of local authorities. “We believe that this proposal must be challenged because if Londoners are expected to pay for the scheme then the planning decisions should be made by London authorities.”
H&F's own Paul Bristow, writing in Pravda under the headline of "Your views on Super Sewer flushed away", said: The council is appalled at the proposed use of the IPC (Infrastructure Planning Commission) as all along we have been told that this is a London project that should be paid for by Thames Water customers. However, it now appears that when it comes to gaining the necessary planning permissions the views of Londoners can simply be ignored.”
If you've read this far, well done. Why is this important? Well, who exactly is Daniel Moylan? Among other things he is Deputy Chairman of Transport for London, and is very well connected in London Tory circles. So this could be something of a turn around. Having been overruled by a Tory Mayor H&F appear to be finding some other very powerful friends with the means of stopping this project. Watch this space.