£90 million fine for Southern Water

wrongfoot

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The Southern Water scandal turns my stomach. What really gets to me is no directors being held responsible to date. From the reports I have seen, the judge made it perfectly clear they had sanctioned the pollution to save money. Regardless, they were in charge and oversaw this.

What I also find revolting is the same old BS spouted after they have pleaded guilty - "we have changed our ways, new board of directors, etc". You hear it time and time again as if it's supposed to make us all feel better.

Get those individuals responsible down on the rivers or shoreline cleaning up the sh1t they have deposited and that might focus a few minds.

Absolutely disgusting. The tragedy is we customers can't take our business elsewhere and these guys know it. They are monopolies.
This is the issue with a Limited liability Company. But there are relevant criminal offenses in the EPR regulations where personal liability can be established...

I was very upset to see that the EA director responsible nationally for EA Operations (including sampling and enforcement) during the time these offenses occurred has taken a job with Southern Water...


Maybe (big picture) the sort of person who would move there and take a directors salary is much better out of the EA? I also know and respect colleagues who have gone to work in roles with utilities companies and regulated industry honestly and been a force for good in those jobs.

However something about this director's move feels like a betrayal to me. I note the timing of his move and supporting statements were "conveniently" just before the sentencing hearing. Makes me wonder if that was cynically planned by people at Southern when headhunting him?

Mr Willison has the human and legal right to work anywhere, but I have the right not to like it too. It's made me absolutely furious and left me questioning his commitment to the Environment over decades in the most senior roles.

PS. The £5m fund mentioned by Mr Willison (now of Southern) will not be part of the necessary spend to improve maintenance and upgrade plant (nowhere near enough) and reads like a pathetic diversionary tactic. Not only that I wouldn't be surprised if other partners or the state was a partner contributing to it or to find it was to deliver on a legal requirement and nothing new.
 

diawl bach

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May 17, 2006
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8,808
The Southern Water scandal turns my stomach. What really gets to me is no directors being held responsible to date. From the reports I have seen, the judge made it perfectly clear they had sanctioned the pollution to save money. Regardless, they were in charge and oversaw this.

What I also find revolting is the same old BS spouted after they have pleaded guilty - "we have changed our ways, new board of directors, etc". You hear it time and time again as if it's supposed to make us all feel better.

Get those individuals responsible down on the rivers or shoreline cleaning up the sh1t they have deposited and that might focus a few minds.

Absolutely disgusting. The tragedy is we customers can't take our business elsewhere and these guys know it. They are monopolies.
How do you go about a private prosecution I wonder? I'm convinced going to law is the only way to stop this level of pollution, perhaps a successful case or two against the directors would begin to turn this seemingly irreversible deluge of contamination impacting on our water.*

*https://privateprosecutionservice.co.uk/the-private-prosecution-step-by-step-guide/
 

Reg Wyatt

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Nearly twenty years ago I helped a Test river keeper with a pollution incident that has recently flared up again. The EA and Southern Water teamed up against us and were quite obviously looking after each other. The river keeper involved was eventually warned off by his employers but the whole affair was alarming. The EA and Southern Water seemed to have an incestuous relationship with regard pollution. Perhaps now it's better?

Reg Wyatt
 

knoonan

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I suspect the shareholders will be pushing for change, they won't like their dividends cut. They sound an awful company.
Yes, and many of the larger investors, Legal and general being a good example, are increasingly tuned in to environmental ‘footprint’ of their investments. Their recent action against Shell management gives some grounds for hope.
 

wrongfoot

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How do you go about a private prosecution I wonder? I'm convinced going to law is the only way to stop this level of pollution, perhaps a successful case or two against the directors would begin to turn this seemingly irreversible deluge of contamination impacting on our water.*

*https://privateprosecutionservice.co.uk/the-private-prosecution-step-by-step-guide/
If you're a local oyster farmer (or maybe a tourism business near a beach failing bathing waters, or an angling club on an effected water) perhaps you consider a class action after this verdict. You no longer need to prove the action, just your loss as a consequence.

Private civil cases have a place too...
 

Paul_B

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Its high time the government took control over these polluting water companies as well as the rail

 

Reg Wyatt

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shropshire_lad

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Too far away from the wild places!
Why are there no criminal convictions? How are these people allowed to stay in business? Beyond belief. Stinks, quite literally, of corruption.

Reg Wyatt
Totally agree.

Let us not forget, this is a company that claims to have turned over a new leaf - it's what they all say and we are supposed to believe them. They make me want to vomit, just like I would if I swam in the sea they use for their dirty deeds :(
 

anzac

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Terra Firma
It doesn't matter, no-one got criminally charged; it's just corporate money, nothing much will change.
Exactly. Even a £90M fine is just a wee bit of heartburn for them without some of the executives and board members being prosecuted , found criminally responsible, and imprisoned. Making the decision makers do a few years of hard time will get their attention quick smart.
 

kingf000

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Jun 13, 2016
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So Southern Water yet again released a load of raw sewage into the sea in Kent, closing a number of beaches. Clearly fines make no difference, they simply pass the cost onto the consumer or cut back on essential maintenance. I agree, the only way to change is to make the managers criminally responsible for any 'accidents'.

In my lab. I was responsible for ensuring no accidents occurred. If an accident did happen, I could be jailed under the Health & Safety at Work act. That really focussed the mind and radically changed our practices.
 
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