Margate councillor questions Southern Water after lumps of metal fencing from Foreness pumping station found on beach

Cllr Yates with a lump of the fencing from Foreness Point

Margate councillor Rob Yates has accused Southern Water of not carrying out basic maintenance after finding lumps of metal fencing on the beach at Palm Bay, which have come from Foreness Point pumping station.

Cllr Yates and fellow Labour Party councillor Heather Keen say the pumping station is missing significant parts of its fence which have been carried on to the beach.

Cllr Yates said: “When going for a walk along our beaches you do not expect to find sharp aluminium metal scattered along the sand, but that is exactly what I found this weekend. This is unfortunately further evidence that Southern Water is not capable of carrying out basic maintenance on the facilities that we all rely upon and a significant health and safety risk.

“I have informed Southern Water and will be handing the fencing pieces to Southern Water’s Director of Operations Tim McMahon on Tuesday night so that he can see it for himself, and asking the Director if we can expect his resignation if we encounter further issues caused by lack of maintenance in Thanet.”

A Southern Water spokesperson said: “We are sorry that pieces of the metal fence from Margate Pumping Station were found to have fallen onto the beach at Foreness Point.

“The fence was repaired on Monday, and we are investigating how this happened. We would like to thank members of the public for bringing this to our attention, and we are taking this report very seriously.”

Thanet council officers have been notified about the debris.

Southern Water’s Tim McMahon will be attending a public drop in session today (March 14) at St Andrews Community Hall, Reading Street, from 3pm to 5.30pm.

Staff from different departments will also be present to answer queries about the water networks, compensation payments and priority support services.

Mr McMahon will then attend a Thanet council scrutiny meeting to give a presentation to councillors to discuss residents’ concerns regarding water supply interruptions in parts of the district. The meeting starts at 7pm. A demonstration is being held by residents and groups including Westgate and Garlinge Action Group, outside the council offices from 6pm.

Cllr Keen said: “With so many Broadstairs residents affected by the water outages, Thanet Labour asked TDC for an urgent  meeting to discuss the situation in Broadstairs.

“This meeting is finally happening and we believe that many residents have finally started receiving £120-£140 in compensation.

“If you have been affected, please do contact Southern Water to ask for the compensation that you are entitled to. We will be quizzing Southern Water at the Scrutiny meeting to find out why there has been a delay in making payments.”


  1. How about Southern water paying compensation to all the homes that suffered problems with their Water supply, when a pump went wrong in Broadstairs.

  2. If some of the £60 to £70 billion that has been paid to SWA shareholders since privatisation had been re-invested back into the company, perhaps we would have decent rivers and beaches! At present just about every river in the UK has been polluted by the water companies, just in order to pay a dividend to shareholders, some of which are Chines state owned, Duurh. Its time water was re-nationalised!

      • What you’re basically acknowledging is that currently SW charge us vast sums of money which goes to the share holders as dividends.
        I wouldn’t mind paying more, as long as every penny went towards better water supply and treatment, rather than filling the pockets of (foreign) investors.

        • Not quite sure how you come to that conclusion, my last water bill ( feb this year) covered 5 1/2 months and with a £30 discount for disruption to supply cost a grand total of £84. So £114 without. So not quite sure where you get the notion that the charge is a vast sum.
          My opinion in my previous comment is that if the water industry was nationalised , we wwould see 4 fold increases in the bills we would then receive. Sorry if my opinion doesn’t fit your view of the world, but please don’t distort it to do so.

    • Well done Rob Yates for exposing another outrage from Southern Water. It’s clear that the cowboy contractors used at Foreness Point just dumped the old fencing and didn’t give the proverbial about the beach or public safety. How much more will the public have to put up with from this outfit?

  3. Good or poor management is not the issue here. We need fundamental change that makes our water safe and reliable. We must own our own water supply. We need to have a system in place that protects our rivers and sea and enables us to use this resource in a way that protects it for the future.

  4. I am not politically motivated but comments about owning our utilities are very relevant in my view. Thatcher balanced the books by selling everything off and just look where we are now. Shareholders doing very well thankyou from the income that would have gone to the utilities we all owned. EDF owned by French and so on.

  5. The security fencing has probably been damaged by the brain dead feral scum that have targeted the area with graffiti. They are getting over the fence to graffiti all over the pumping station . Wouldn’t it be unfortunate if one of them was to impale themselves on the fencing.

  6. That metal might have been attacked by local scrap collectors . There is an epidemic of metal and wood being ripped out to sell . I have seen street benches dissappear overnight. Its outrageous crime , this is our local area , we like it kept intact thank you .

  7. All well and good Cllr Yates but is it not the case that Thanet council exhibit exactly the same ethos by constantly failing to provide basic maintenance to shelters,toilets,lifts etc etc If so,should we be expecting the resignations of many TDC officials. Greenhouses and stones spring to mind!

    • Election time is approaching. People like Mr Yates will be featuring a lot trying to justify re election. Anything to attack SW. No wonder TDC is in state when councillors are addressing minor issues especially when fence repair is in hand.

      • I think the fence ussue is just one if many, many issues that SW need to address.
        Quite correctly, our elected councillors are bringing these problems to the attention of SW.

  8. Jobsworth Labour looking to attach themselves to something to get votes!

    Try looking at the areas where people live, but that doesn’t get them easy votes unlike making nonsense news about Southern Water.

    • “Jobsworth Labour looking to attach themselves to something to get votes!”

      Where’s our ACTUAL MPs then? They don’t seem to do a scooby unless its something for old people (Gale) or a chance for self promotion from someone who lives in Medway (MacKinlay)…

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