Water companies profit as we bathe in apathy | Letters

We should be more angry about the behaviour of polluting water firms, writes Gwyn Jones, while Ian Jones calls for tighter regulation and Dr Miles Clapham suggests more green investment in sewage management

Your article (Water firm to pay shareholders £300m despite anger over leaks and pollution, 25 May ) was very well timed as the water company was having a two-day event in Windermere to “explain” what it was doing. I duly trundled along and asked about the enormous dividend paid by the most polluting water company in England last year. Lo and behold, the main problems lie with Ofwat, which insists that it keeps prices low, and with shareholders, who demand an enormous payout.

Then came what was, apparently, the clincher – “We have spent £XYZ million…” – a tactic much loved by Conservative frontbenchers, ie provide a meaningless sum instead of telling us what proportion of the amount that should have been spent was achieved. I suppose I was meant to be grateful that United Utilities is going to open an information centre in Windermere to tell us what it is doing. That money would be better spent reducing pensioners’ bills.

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