But it seems Thames Water has ended up the winner after all. Its water prices will go by 3.3 per cent above the cost of living in the Thames Water area, despite most other consumers in England and Wales having their bills cut over the same period.
The truth of the matter is that the state of the water mains here is disgraceful and the water pressure that our customers have been forced to put up with over the last ten years is, in many cases, completely unusable and unacceptable. Many people don’t have enough water pressure to run a small household boiler, and others are forced to resort to taking showers in the middle of the night to get enough pressure.
In my opinion, Thames Water has completely lost people’s trust. It seems far more interested in filling the bank accounts of its shareholders than the baths, sinks and toilets of their customers.
The price rise is supposed to help Thames Water fix its leaky network of Victorian water mains but I predict that, not only will the company make more profits (£435m last year) in the coming years, but its shareholders will end up with a bigger slice of the pie.
These guys have a monopoly on water in the London area, and year after year they continue to take advantage of their privileged position. The government has recently resorted to sacking failing train franchises – I think it’s about time a more responsible water company is put in charge.
Last week was also Lord Sugar’s maiden speech to the Lords. It ended up being all about, well… himself. It proves yet again that the appointment of Lord Sugar to business tsar was a cynical ploy, which was more “smoke and mirrors” and window dressing than any real desire to help UK businesses, as shown by the government’s disastrous apprenticeship scheme, that clearly hasn’t worked, and which wasted £3m.
Charlie Mullins founded Pimlico Plumbers in 1979 with just a bag of tools and a very old van bought at auction. It now has over 133 professional plumbers and a support team of around 35 staff, with a turnover in excess of £15m.