I refer to your article, Could Isle of Wight sewage dumping problem be solved? (CP online, 07-01-22) detailing Southern Water’s assurances that the Isle of Wight will be subject to an accelerated improvement programme.

If we are to take these assurances from Southern Water at face value then this is very promising news indeed and I thank our MP Mr Seely for following up on the meeting he and Cllrs Andre, Bacon, Jarman and Quigley had with Southern Water last year and his continued diligence on the Isle of Wight’s behalf.

What concerns me though, is the language used in relation to these commitments seems deliberately vague, vague enough to ensure that these commitments are neither binding or enforceable.

I readily admit that I haven’t seen the letter from Southern Water to Mr Seely, but I would be very interested to understand the proposed metrics that are going to be employed to gauge the value of these commitments.

To this point, I note Southern Water's use of a 'percentage of a percentage' when detailing their proposed works, which is deliberately ambiguous and offers something less than a measurable commitment.

In the last year alone there have been more than 320 discharges along the Isle of Wight's beaches by Southern Water, most notably the beauty spot of Gurnard, where according to Surfers Against Sewage, more raw sewage has been discharged than on any other beach in the country.

So for Southern Water to insinuate that these discharges are connected to their ability to manage excessive rainfall in Sandown (by the way, there were less than 100 days of rainfall on the Island last year) could be construed as highly disingenuous!

Additionally, the new environmental bill only requires very gradual annual improvements from all of the water companies and if Southern Water falls short of their assurances to our MP and the Island to implement an accelerated plan, what will the consequences be?

I'm fully supportive of these proposed improvements, but I have to remain sceptical of any organisation that is happy to take nine figure fines on the chin (£126m in one case alone!) as it's cheaper than correcting the issues that impact their customers and the environment.

Make no mistake, Southern Water know how to play the PR game very well and I suspect will continue to do so.

Actions are the only thing that count and my fellow beach protestors and I will continue to monitor Southern Water very closely and hold their actions to account until they deliver us the services for which we are being incorrectly charged!

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