Over the border: MP Julie Marson meets with Affinity Water
Politics / Thu 9th Feb 2023 at 06:44pm
HERTFORD and Stortford MP, Julie Marson, has met with Affinity Water to discuss their response to burst water pipes in Bishop’s Stortford over the Christmas period.
Due to freezing temperatures, Affinity Water experienced a high number of burst pipes across their network. Around 6,000 properties in Bishop’s Stortford were without water for at least a day or more in the lead up to Christmas as a result.
Mrs Marson contacted Affinity Water immediately to press for urgent action. This included improving their distribution of bottled water to affected people across Bishop’s Stortford and their communications with both constituents and herself.
Mrs Marson pursued frequent contact with Affinity Water throughout the week and asked that they provided her with regular updates she could share with residents. She also raised the issue of compensation for them.
The problem was resolved by Affinity Water’s engineers on Christmas Day.
Mrs Marson asked to meet CEO, Kevin Haslett, and Director of Operations, Anton Gazzard, in Parliament yesterday to discuss their response and contingency plans for the future.
Kevin Haslett commented:
“I would like to thank Julie Marson for the opportunity to meet with her today to listen to the concerns of her constituents following the impact to water supplies in Bishop’s Stortford during the Christmas period.
“We understand how disruptive this event was, especially on the run up to Christmas, which was caused by an extreme weather event that affected water supplies across the country. Our teams worked tirelessly over Christmas to get supplies back to normal as quickly as possible, however we realise that we let some customers down and we are truly sorry about this.
“We have taken feedback from Julie and our customers as part of our internal review to improve the way we respond to future extreme weather events.
“We were also grateful to have the opportunity to discuss our investment plans for the Bishops Stortford area, such as additional storage reservoirs, booster pumps and new water mains. This investment will help make the local water network more resilient to the effects of climate change and extreme weather events, whilst being able to supply a growing population and leave more water in the environment.”
Mrs Marson also said:
“Whilst this incident was of course unintentional, there is no doubt over the prolonged distress it caused.
“I am grateful to Affinity Water for discussing their response with me in full, and am pleased customers in Bishop’s Stortford have now received the compensation they deserve.
“We had a productive discussion and emphasised the importance of increased communication channels going forwards.
“I look forward to continuing to work with Affinity Water to make sure constituents receive the most reliable and best service possible.”