Ramsgate hairdresser’s business disrupted and family forced to move out of home due to collapsed sewer pipe

Marcello and his family moved out due to the collapsed sewer pipe

Southern Water has apologised to a Ramsgate hairdresser who has had business disrupted for more than a year and been forced to move out of his home with his wife and three children because of a collapsed sewer pipe.

Marcello Marino, who has owned his salon and home in West Cliff Road for more than 30 years, said it all started with a sewage leak in September last year.

He said: “Southern Water keep messing me around, interrupting my business for over a year and telling me to close my shop on and off, cancelling appointments.

“Then on September 28 (this year) they came into my shop and told me my building was not safe and I have to close my shop.

“On October 12 they told me to leave my home immediately with my family – my wife, my girls and my then eight month old son.

“We had nowhere to go. Southern Water promised me they would pay for food and accommodation but said as long as we don’t stay in the Ritz. Then they told me I’m not allowed to shop in Waitrose where I always shop, but I have to eat in Wetherspoon.”

“They have interrupted my life and my livelihood and they haven’t paid anything for food and accommodation and my insurance is being even worse as I have interruption to business and lost earnings but accommodation is not on the policy. We have rented a flat but I had to ask family and friends if I could borrow money to do that.

“The collapsed pipe in underneath the pavement and there is a big hole in my shop, they are destroying my lovely salon.”

There is now a huge hole where the chairs are in this photo

Marcello and ward councillor Becky Wing met with a Southern Water representative yesterday (November 10) and the dad-of-three says he has been promised he will get an interim payment.

The 54-year-old added: “He was very nice and was sorry that I was told I could not shop in Waitrose and said he will get the interim payment. I have been told they will make everything right with the shop but the PVC on the windows is damaged, you can’t make plastic right, you have to replace it, there is a big hole in my salon and they keep breaking things where the pipe is.

“The council wanted the road cleared by (today) but that won’t be done and there is another road closure due.

“Christmas is coming and I hope it will be finished properly as I have children so I am not moving back into a building site.

“Southern Water have sent just one email to me in over a year so I have been very stressed but have to be strong for my children. Customers and friends have been very nice with offers to help.”

Marcello says despite the disruption he is determined to still do his annual free Christmas haircuts for people who are struggling and will be making arrangements so that is possible.

Southern Water says it expects the repair to a collapsed sewer underneath the building where Marcello and his family live to be complete in the next couple of weeks.

A spokesperson for Southern Water added: “We’re very sorry for the disruption and distress caused. The safety of our customers is paramount, which is why it has been necessary for this family to temporarily move to other accommodation while we carry out essential repairs to a collapsed sewer.

“Our customer team is in regular contact with this family to ensure adequate support is provided. We (have met) them again to discuss any concerns and answer any questions.”


  1. It’s absolutely disgusting all southern water seem to do is generate bad news and be totally incompetent. How can they ruin a man’s business and disrupt his family life. This should make national news and southern water should be taken back into public ownership NOW. The evil Tories have allowed this to come about with their love of privatisation.

  2. Took southern water over 18 months to repair our broken sewer pipe. They were happy to come out once a month to unblock it. Thank you Thatcher and those that voted for her. Must have had at least 18 months of sewage leaking into the soil.

  3. Southern Water get away with far too much in Thanet including polluting our waters and beaches. Our two local MPs need to be held to account on this and 100 other issues. And I am actually a Conservative voter (or was). Whilst many dislike the Tories, one thing Tory MPs are generally good at is protecting the interests of local communities re the environment and ensuring good public service from private companies. our two are the complete opposite. Approving and supporting poor local planning applications on greenbelt land and initiatives such as Thanet Parkway – with a handful of customers each day and the journey time has increased across all services. Useless – they will be here tomorrow for the Remembrance services – perhaps they can pop in and see Marcello who actually does a whole lot of good for the local community and supports local schools and charities. Also, this is not just his business – this is his home and his standard of accommodation and food etc. should not be impacted due to the negligence of Southern Water. This is a private, national company which is regulated and yet ignores its regulatory obligations – it’s also massively in profit. Even the council wouldn’t have dreamed of treating illegal migrants this way. It’s a joke.

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