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Thames Water to be grilled over Islington flooding

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to quiz company bosses after water engulfed Finsbury Park, Upper Street and Barnsbury

18 October, 2019 — By Jane Clinton

The recent flooding in Finsbury Park after a water main burst

THAMES Water bosses will be grilled by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn today (Friday) on why Islington has had to repeatedly endure “unacceptable” floods.

Mr Corbyn will be joined by Islington Council leader Richard Watts and Hackney mayor Phil Glanville at the showdown talks.

The move comes after water engulfed parts of Finsbury Park last week when a burst water main caused chaos and heartache to residents.

Councillor Watts said: “It’s unacceptable that a burst main has once again caused major disruption and chaos for many people in Islington.

“We’re meeting Thames Water urgently to discuss this incident and expect answers about why this happened, how the response was handled, and why such devastating water main bursts keep happening.”

Flooding in Camden passage in 2016

Thames Water’s response to the flood, including the distribution of bottled water, will also be discussed.

About 250 properties were damaged when the 36-inch fracture in a water pipe at the junction of Queens Drive and Princess Crescent sent water erupting through the pavement.

Up to 60 households had to stay in emergency accommodation.

It comes after a series of floods in the area that have left residents and businesses in turmoil.

There was a burst water main last October in Offord Road, and in December 2016 a huge flood in Upper Street, Camden Passage, and the surrounding area caused chaos.

The ruptured water main left business owners heartbroken as stock, including vintage and irreplaceable items, were lost.

Flooding in Offord Road, Barnsbury

Steve Spencer, Thames Water chief operating officer, said: “We understand the devastation caused to residents affected by last week’s burst.

“Our main priority is to make sure their lives get back to normal as soon as possible. We are keen to understand why this particular water pipe failed in the way it did and welcome the opportunity to discuss what happened and to explain what we’re doing to put things right.

“We’re spending over £1million a day on our underground network to help reduce leaks, which often lead to these bursts, and working tirelessly to improve our customer service.

“We’re also exploring all modern technology and techniques to gain tighter control of our ageing network to reduce the risk of disruption like this in the future.”

Mr Corbyn said he would not make a comment before the meeting had taken place.

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