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Nationalising our water companies makes so much sense

(27 Posts)
Whitewavemark2 Wed 10-Jul-19 09:28:16

I live in the Southern Water region, and it has recently been severely criticised for pumping raw sewerage into the sea.

The EA carries out water sampling on a daily basis at a certain time if day, and it appeared that the quality of sea water whilst not good was acceptable. But the reports of water borne illness continued. Eventually spot checks were decided on. These showed a disgusting level of sewerage was present where young children were playing in the water and others swimming etc. One wonders how the company was manipulating the water quality? I leave that for you to work out for yourselves.

The EA is prosecuting. The maximum fine is £20k. To improve the water companies pumping stations and install the necessary equipment will cost 10s of millions. The water company will take a £20k hit any day if the week against such a huge expenditure.

The sell off of the water companies by the Tories was billed as a good free market decision blah blah.
Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a monopoly( and I’m stuck with a product that I don’t want and pay dearly for. Meters were forced on us a few years ago.
Even our drinking water is suspect.

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jul-19 09:57:19

Indeed, there are some things to which nationalising them would be the answer, utility companies for a start. These should be in the hands of the public. In fact everything bar the NHS to my mind.

MaizieD Wed 10-Jul-19 10:04:31

Why 'bar the NHS', EV?

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jul-19 10:38:15

How would you propose the public run the NHS ?

Utility companies are a different animal as they're payable on demand.

gillybob Wed 10-Jul-19 10:43:22

I agree that something as essential and basic to life should never have been privatised in the first place. Our water (Northumbria) is listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange and its CEO (Heidi Mottram) earns well over £1 million a year when customer bills are rising year on year, which I find completely obscene.

I have a water meter (no choice) and we are very careful about every drop we use.

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jul-19 10:43:32

For a start, the NHS is an international service, the others aren't.

MaizieD Wed 10-Jul-19 10:49:56

I'm not sure I get your reasoning, EV. The NHS was 'nationalised' from the start. 'The public' didn't run it, any more than 'the public' ran water, gas, electricity and Royal Mail before privatisation They just owned them in that they were run and financed by the State.

MaizieD Wed 10-Jul-19 10:50:50

Sorry, how is the NHS an 'international service'? Does it have branches overseas?

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jul-19 11:03:55

The NHS treats those from overseas from every corner of the earth whether it be those on holiday or the ones who have chosen to live here from abroad who also have their families visiting and needing the NHS at some point.
It's a worldwide service that we have.

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jul-19 11:06:03

It's the other commodities that we the public are being ripped off with and should be left to the people how to run them.

MaizieD Wed 10-Jul-19 11:13:50


The public utilities were also available for the use of any visitor to the UK. So maybe they were international services, too...

Anniebach Wed 10-Jul-19 11:14:45

I don’t want Dwr Cymru run by the state ,

MaizieD Wed 10-Jul-19 11:15:15

should be left to the people how to run them.

I'd rather that the running of them was left to professionals in their fields. I'm a bit dubious about the expertise of 'the people'.

MaizieD Wed 10-Jul-19 11:18:56

why not, Annie/ It operates like a state owned industry, I note.

trisher Wed 10-Jul-19 11:25:53

The water service should definitely be run by a non-profit making concern and it would seem that Nationalisation is the best way of doing this.
EllenVannin I have no idea where you get your mis-information from but only life threatening conditions will be treated by the NHS for foreign nationals. In order to get treatment if they are conscious a passport and proof of nationality can be requested. They are then billed for any treatment. It does not treat all nationalities free of charge. Even if you are British if you benefit in any way from an accident insurance pay out the NHS can bill you for any treatment you received for that accident. It's not the pushover you imagine.

EllanVannin Wed 10-Jul-19 11:27:52

MaizieD if you read the OP then you'd see that the particular water company is run by " professionals " who also allow sewage to get into the system ? Who would know best, those so-called professionals or those unfortunate enough to fall ill knowing where the source of the illness comes from ?

MaizieD Wed 10-Jul-19 11:28:25

Yes, trisher, but there is a widely held perception that billing foreign nationals for treatment doesn't happen.

JessK Wed 10-Jul-19 11:47:01

Our local water company has been owned by the French for many years and the shareholders are doing very nicely from it and our bills increase significantly every year. I'm all for nationalising.

trisher Wed 10-Jul-19 13:08:06

EllanVannin when the main purpose of any company is to make profits for its shareholders the "professionals" will cut corners and the results can be disastrous. Claening sewage is a costly business.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 10-Jul-19 13:26:44

If any of the utilities are to be re-nationalised I hope the government will pay the going rate!!!

Lots of pension funds invest in utilities and I doubt any pensioners on here would like to lose some/any of their pension pot.

POGS Wed 10-Jul-19 13:40:37

The European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF / the TROIKA forced Greece to ' Privatise' their water and sewage supply.

There is still ongoing disagreements as to EU Regulation and Nationalialisation so ' maybe ' Remaining in the European Union could prove problematic.

I use the word ' maybe ' as I hear one argument then another and there is no categorical statement that defines what would happen if we are members of the EU.

Happy to be enlightened.

gillybob Wed 10-Jul-19 14:03:37

I don't see why a water company can't be run like a not for profit organisation? We all need water so why should a very basic necessity of life be used to line the pockets of fat cats ? Not only line their pockets but stuff them to overflowing if you take Northumbria water as an example.

Minniemoo Wed 10-Jul-19 14:07:51

Before privatisation a lot of nationalised companies were losing money hand over fist. With the taxpayers basically bailing them out. My father in law worked for BG and it was losing millions of pounds but it didn't matter because the good old taxpayer picked up the slack. There's a lot of good to be said about privatisation. Of course if we stay in the EU nothing will ever be nationalised which causes problems for Labour and the many people who seem to think state run companies are best.

gillybob Wed 10-Jul-19 14:10:29

Not for profit is not the same as nationalisation though is it?

Water companies should be run for the benefit of all consumers not the overpaid fat cats at the top.

Minniemoo Wed 10-Jul-19 14:16:05

Yes, gillybob. It is different. Apparently there's one in Wales that seems to be doing very well. Be interesting to see others follow suit. Though I'm not optimistic. As you say, the fat cats might not be too happy.