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Thames Water – MPs to question executives, Ofwat and Minister

29 June 2023

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has invited key decision-makers involved with Thames Water to a public hearing of the Committee on Wednesday 12 July to explain the difficulties facing the company and the water industry more generally.

On June 27, Thames Water’s Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Bentley, resigned after just two years in the post, shortly after she was reportedly asked to forgo her bonus over a controversy around sewage spills. Media reports suggest that the company has substantial and growing debt, and that the government may be preparing contingency plans in case of its failure. 

The water industry regulator, Ofwat, has previously raised concerns about the financial resilience of other companies in the sector. On Thursday 29 June it was reported that Yorkshire Water is raising £500m from shareholders to shore up its finances.   

The Committee has invited the following people to attend the public session: 

  • Former and current senior management of Thames Water
  • Rebecca Pow, the Minister for Environmental Quality and Resilience
  • Members of the senior management of Ofwat, the Water Services Regulation Authority

The Committee is likely to ask about the causes of the problems facing Thames Water and the potential solutions – and ask whether other water companies may face similar difficulties. The current financial regulations and legal oversight of water utilities may also be probed. Other questions may be asked on issues including water quality, investment and corporate dividends.

Details about the exact time and location of the hearing will be announced in due course.

Further information

Image credit: UK Parliament/Tyler Allicock