Sharma and Thames Water hold meeting to review progress of Hildens Drive sewer works

On Thursday 5th April, Thames Water along with Reading West MP Alok Sharma held a drop-in surgery session at Tilehurst Village Hall to give local residents an update on the sewer works taking place in Tilehurst. The session gave residents affected by the 10-month project an opportunity to review the progress of the works and ask Thames Water any questions that they may have in relation to this project.

Alok, who had initially requested Thames Water to hold the event, attended the drop-in surgery along with representatives from Thames Water and Optimise, the contractor carrying out the works. As the works involve road closures that have diverted the Premier Route 33 bus, James Freeman, Chief Executive of Reading Transport was also on-hand to answer questions.

The sewer works scheme is being implemented to end the misery of sewer flooding for Tilehurst residents. Thames Water is spending £1 million enlarging sewers under Hildens Drive, City Road and Foxcombe Drive, which are currently unable to cope with increased flows particularly after heavy rainfall. In serious cases this problem can cause sewage to back up into people’s homes and gardens.

A number of homes in the area have experienced this problem in the past and as more homes are built in the area, pressure on the sewer network is set in increase, along with the risk of further sewer flooding.

Visitors to the drop-in session were also offered free water-saving information and free water-saving devices, and information on the current drought.

Alok said: “Talking to local residents, I know that they recognise the importance of this work to improve the sewer network in Tilehurst. I am pleased that Thames Water is committed to making the sewer network fit for the future.”

Alok continued: “This work involves inevitable disruption to local residents but I am working with Thames Water to make sure that residents are kept informed. This is why both Thames Water and I wrote to local residents to invite them to come along to the drop-in surgery and discuss any concerns they may have about the works.”

Thames Water’s head of programme delivery Andy Popple, said: “We are hell-bent as a company on putting an end to the misery of sewer flooding. It is utterly vile and has no place in the 21st century.”

Andy added: “Work is progressing well on this project and we have already received positive feedback from people whose properties flank the newly-laid sewer. We apologise for the continuing disruption and we ask customers to bear with us while we complete this essential work.”

Photo: Alok at the drop-in surgery with Huw Thomas of Thames Water, and Astrid Bowman and Tony Williams both of Optimise