Public meeting with Southern Water to finally to take place in Ramsgate

Southern Water protests last year Photo by Steven Collis

A long-awaited public meeting with Southern Water will be held on April 21 in Ramsgate.

Residents will be able to hear from the executive team of Southern Water including CEO Ian McAuley, a representative from the Environment Agency, local councillors including County Councillor Karen Constantine and South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay.

The meeting was last proposed to take place in January but was postponed due to issues around covid.

The aim is to discuss Southern Water improvement plans in light of wastewater releases that shut a large number of isle beaches in June and October last year.

Initially it was proposed to hold the meeting at St George’s school in Broadstairs but the school cancelled venue bookings. It was then arranged to be held at St Peter’s hall but concerns were raised over the limited capacity with the venue only being able to hold around 75 people.

It has now been arranged to take place at the Royal Harbour Academy in Marlowe Way from 6.30pm to 8pm.

Areas that are to be covered include last year’s pollution incidents and storm overflows.

Cllr Constantine, as part of the SOS Ramsgate group, has been asking for a meeting since October following combined sewer releases and failures at Southern Water pumping stations which led to warnings to stay out of the water in June and October.

SOS Ramsgate requested a venue in Ramsgate with a representative panel and have also asked for independent testing of Thanet coastal waters and the River Stour with the findings made public. The group members have also been pushing the case for ‘citizen’ sea test equipment and working with other pressure groups and representatives across political parties to ensure a public meeting is held.

Last June advice was issued against swimming at 11 Thanet beaches after a wastewater release from the Foreness pumping station. There have also been numerous combined sewer outflows affecting water quality.

In October warnings were issued for 14 beaches and bays and stayed in place for nine days at 13 sites and an extra two days at Joss Bay following a discharge from the Broadstairs pumping station.

In September Southern Water agreed to commission a full drainage survey of Margate and the surrounding areas in order to improve resilience of Foreness Point pumping station. The survey, estimated to come at a cost of some £400,000, will record all of the water pathways that contribute surface water and rain water to the drainage system. It will also assess the amount of water which is added to the system during storm periods.

The aim is to reduce runoff reaching the treatment works and reduce the risk of emergency spills.

It has also been agreed to implement a number of action points previously drawn up during a meeting between Margate councillor Rob Yates, representatives of natural beauty business Haeckels and Walpole Bay Swimmers and Environment Agency senior officer Peter Ehmann.

In November Southern Water said it was launching a task force with the aim to cut storm overflows by 80 per cent by 2030.

To attend the meeting people must register at


  1. I understand that Putin motors,Donetsk branch, are offering T72 tanks (hardly used, one owner)for sale.S Water might need to purchase a couple,in order to get to and from the meeting in one piece.
    I don’t think this meeting is going to go well, do you?

    • Craig will be there to make sure their profits don’t get hit. He pretends he cares and wants to hold them responsible but actions speak louder than words. I’m sure this meeting will cause Southern water no issues.

  2. SW made nearly £300M profit last year.
    That’s money that we paid, and gies to shareholders.
    Money that we paid, that doesn’t go towards sewage treatment.
    Capitalism is a wonderful thing.

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