South West Bedfordshire MP, Andrew Selous met Peter Simpson the Chief Executive of Anglian Water in the House of Commons on the 16th of January to find out what action Anglian Water are taking to prevent a re-occurrence of the water supply failure in Leighton Buzzard and the surrounding area before Christmas.
Anglian Water are installing two new air valves on the 24-inch water mains, one at Shenley Hill and one at the Heath and Reach reservoir outlet. They are also installing two new sluice valves as well as adding a new wash out at Steppingley. These works are scheduled to be completed by the middle of March this year.
Peter Simpson said that his confidence in the robustness of the system has been “massively” increased by these three actions.
Around £700,000 of compensation has been paid out to 17,000 people typically ranging between £30 to £120 per household. The cost of the emergency response over the weekend in question was around £600,000 and the repair works have cost around £200,000.
In addition, there is an overall performance loss to Anglian Water of around £13.5 million from the failure to provide water. This means the total loss to Anglian Water as a result of the incident is around £15 million.
Anglian Water is a privately-owned company and paid no dividends last year and is paying no dividends this year. The owners are Canadian and Australian pension funds, an Abu Dhabi fund and a number of United Kingdom local authority pension funds.
Anglian Water are paying £3,000 for a school pond restoration project in Leighton Buzzard as well as providing £10,000 to Leighton Linslade Town Council. Anglian Water will be coming to Leighton Buzzard on the 28th January to make a full explanation to the people of the town for what went wrong and to explain the actions that they have taken subsequently to try to prevent a re-occurrence.