Hello everyone, I just wanted to keep you updated with my work on the Thames Tunnel project and invite you to help out with our local river clean up organised by Thames21 on Sunday 20th March at Putney Foreshore so read on for an update...
Thames Tunnel Update
Since the phase one consultation on the Thames Tunnel closed in January, Thames Water has been analysing the responses and are due to publish a report in early April. I am in regular contact with Thames Water and I have a further meeting arranged with them to go through the consultation report. I can assure you that I have made Thames Water fully aware of our concerns locally in respect of all three preferred sites. I have also raised a number of options and alternatives in relation to the preferred main drive shaft site at Barn Elms. Thames Water has been looking at these, which is very encouraging. Also, the working group I have set up will be having its first meeting next week to look at what kind of Thames Tunnel solution would work better for our community. As well as the working group meetings, I will also be holding a public meeting with Thames Water for residents to look at the phase one consultation report’s findings and ask Thames Water about how this could affect the Thames Tunnel proposals so that residents can stay informed.
Thames Water agree to independent experts for the working group
Right at the start of the consultation I discussed with Thames Water getting independent technical support to help residents scrutinise the Thames Tunnel proposals. As with the Heathrow expansion proposal, it is difficult for residents to respond to a technical consultation when we don’t have access to the level of technical knowledge we need. Being able to get independent technical support is also something residents have raised with me at public meetings. I am really pleased that Thames Water has now confirmed to me that they will fund independent experts to support our working group. Importantly, Thames Water has agreed residents should choose our own independent experts to work with the working group for up to two days a week and throughout the Thames Tunnel development process, providing technical scrutiny and advice to the group. Thames Water also wants to play an active role in the working group to continue an open dialogue with residents as our questions and concerns develop with assistance from our technical experts. This is a really positive step for our community and tapping into more outside expertise will be a great help to us over the coming months.
Next Steps - River Clean Up on Sunday 20th March
As well as working on the Thames Tunnel project, I have been working with Thames21, an environmental waterways charity, to get involved in cleaning up our riverside and I want to encourage residents to help with our local river clean up.
Thames21 has organised a deep clean of Putney Foreshore from 10.00am to 12.30pm on Sunday 20th March, meeting by Putney Bridge on the Embankment. We all want to see a cleaner Thames so it would be great if we could get lots of people down to the Foreshore to lend a hand so do come along. For further information please visit www.thames21.org.uk .
Looking forward, Thames Water will be reviewing the Thames Tunnel proposals taking into consideration the consultation results. The revised Thames Tunnel proposals will then be the subject of a second round of consultation later in 2011. The periods following the publication of the phase one consultation response in April and during the phase two consultation will be really important for us locally in making sure we get our views across to Thames Water on what a better Thames Tunnel solution would look like for our community. We will now be able to do this even more effectively with the support of independent experts and the working group. I will make sure I stay in touch over the coming months.
I hope this is helpful and I hope you can make it to the river clean up on Sunday 20th March!
Justine Greening MP
March 8th, 2011