join donate discuss

Yorkshire Water should be apologising for higher bills

An apology from Yorkshire Water’s chief executive over sewage discharges is not good enough according to Green Party councillors on Bradford Council who say they should be apologising for charging people for services they failed to deliver

Nicola Shaw apologisedAn open sewer discharging into a local river because Yorkshire Water had “taken too long” to produce a plan to tackle sewage being discharged into the county’s waters. The apology also included details of investment to modernise the sewer network but Greens have pointed out that this will be paid for by households through higher bills.

Councillor Celia Hickson (Tong Ward), the Deputy Leader of the Green Party Group said, 

“After decades of failing to tackle the issue of dumping raw sewage into our district's rivers, this apology is way too little and far too late. 

“And what’s worse, it is actually hiding the real announcement that households across Yorkshire are going to foot the huge bill for fixing the mess Yorkshire Water have got us into.

“For decades, Yorkshire Water has failed to properly invest in our infrastructure whilst funnelling their profits to their shareholders - which are mainly made up of international banks.

“Households across the country are struggling with rising bills and now they are going to be hit by rising water bills. This isn’t a cost of living crisis, it is a cost of greed crisis and it is families across Yorkshire who will be paying to clean up our rivers - not the government or the business who got us into this situation. This is not right”.

Councillor Janet Russell wearing a pink coat standing with a view of countryside between Silsden and Addingham in the vackground. There is a blue sky with a few clouds.The Green Party is now the third largest party on Bradford Council with eight councillors following gains in recent local elections - including the election of Councillor Janet Russell in the Craven Ward which stretches across both the Aire and Wharfe valleys.

Councillor Russell said,

“The media focus on this scandal has meant residents are rightly worried about the damage that Yorkshire Water has done to our district's two main rivers. 

“The apology Ms Shaw has issued should be one to every single water bill payer because we have been paying for a service we haven’t received - and now Yorkshire Water want us to pay them a second time. 

“It is the government that needs to act here - they need to force the water companies to foot much more of the bill and give the regulators the powers to keep proper tabs on them.”

Figures from campaign group ‘Top of the Poops’ have shown that raw sewage was pumped into the River Aire 3,571 sewage times in 2021 - the highest number of any river in Great Britain.