FeaturedLatest NewsplanningPlanning/Richmond CouncilPoliticsRichmond CouncilRiverRNLISchools & kidsTeddington


Munira and Leader of Richmond Council Cllr Gareth Roberts by Teddington Lock


When Thames Water announced its controversial proposals to pump millions of litres of treated sewage into the river above Teddington Lock, there was one thing they didn’t bargain for– the tenacity of Teddington residents.

The strength of local feeling against the proposals has only grown, culminating in the recent protest along our beautiful stretch of the River Thames. Organised by Save Ham Lands and River, the event was an outpouring of opposition from the many swimmers, kayakers, boaters, children and families in our area who love and use the river.

But this is not about local residents saying “not in my backyard” for no good reason.

Time and time again, Thames Water has failed to make the case that the Teddington proposal is the right proposal to achieve their stated objective of ensuring drought resilience.

What’s more, in the Environment Agency’s own words, Thames Water has failed to prove that the Teddington scheme is feasible or environmentally acceptable.

There are serious questions to answer about the proposals, particularly in terms of the impact on human health, the environment and biodiversity.

On 6 September, I posed these very questions to Environment Minister Rebecca Pow in a debate I led in Parliament on the Teddington scheme. With the Minister having repeatedly dodged requests from myself and Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney to meet, my debate was a vital opportunity to raise residents’ concerns.

In the debate, I highlighted questions over the environmental impacts on the river and important local habitats for wildlife, given that Thames Water has yet to do a proper environmental impact assessment.

Meanwhile, Moormead Park and Ham Lands are among the green spaces that might be turned from conservation sites to construction sites if the scheme is approved. At the same time, Thames Water has inexplicably discarded more viable alternatives.

On top of this, given water companies’ recent track record, is it any wonder that residents don’t trust them? 

My debate came at a time when sewage scandals continued to dominate the news.

The Government came under fire for trying to scrap EU pollution laws (a move Liberal Democrats helped block) and for accusations it may have broken the law over how it regulates sewage releases.

Meanwhile, water companies continue to breach sewage regulations whilst losing millions of litres of water to leaks every day.

The icing on the cake was when much of our area was left without water for a day, forcing local schools to send children home.

With trust in the water industry at an all-time low, this just adds more fuel to the fire that the Teddington proposals should be stopped in their tracks.

With many crucial questions left unanswered following my debate, I – together with Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney and Kingston and Surbiton MP Sir Ed Davey – again wrote to Minister Pow to request a meeting.

The bottom line is that this scheme just doesn’t add up. Our river is a beloved and precious resource that must be protected, and I’ll continue to speak out on behalf of Teddington residents to save it.

For all the latest news, please visit my campaign page at:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *