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MPs and council chiefs from Hackney and Islington grill Thames Water over response to Finsbury Park flooding

PUBLISHED: 17:40 21 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:44 21 October 2019

(L to R) Ian Marchant, Thames Water chairman, Diane Abbott MP, Cllr Andy Hull, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Cllr Caroline Selman, Phil Glanville and Steve Spencer, Thames Water chief operating officer.

(L to R) Ian Marchant, Thames Water chairman, Diane Abbott MP, Cllr Andy Hull, Jeremy Corbyn MP, Cllr Caroline Selman, Phil Glanville and Steve Spencer, Thames Water chief operating officer.

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MPs and council chiefs from Hackney and Islington grilled Thames Water bosses on Friday over their response to the devastating flooding that hit 170 homes in Finsbury Park.

People living in Brownswood Road woke up to flooding. Picture: @TomashhEvansPeople living in Brownswood Road woke up to flooding. Picture: @TomashhEvans

Seventy-six households were forced into temporary accommodation when their homes were left submerged in water following the pipe burst on October 8 - and some say they have had to move several times since.

The rupture in Queen's Drive left homes across Hackney and Islington without power and water for hours, and Hackney mayor Phil Glanville criticised Thames Water for the lack of communication and emergency water supplies.

Mr Glanville was at the meeting along with both Hackney and Islington councils' communities chiefs Cllr Caroline Selman and Cllr Andy Hull, Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP, Diane Abbott and Islington North MP, Jeremy Corbyn.

They spoke to senior Thames Water representatives, including its chairman, Ian Marchant, about the concerns of their residents.

Flooding on the Kings Crescent Estate. Picture: POLLY HANCOCKFlooding on the Kings Crescent Estate. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

Mr Glanville, said: "While front-line Thames Water staff are working really hard to resolve the issues, its overall response, especially its communication with local people, hasn't been good enough.

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"Residents have faced significant disruption and are uncertain about their entitlement to compensation.

"The meeting was constructive, and I hope our serious concerns about its response will be resolved so residents can get back to living normal lives as quickly as possible."

It is the third time Thames Water has been criticised for its handling of a burst pipe in Hackney in recent years. In December 2016 Northwold Road was flooded and a year ago an area off Lea Bridge Road was left underwater.

The Northwold Road flooding also came two weeks after a devastating flood in Upper Street, Islington, which destroyed homes and businesses.

Cllr Hull was one of those left without water earlier this month and said it was "unacceptable" it had happened again. He added: "I made clear the council, and local residents, want answers about why this happened again, and why Thames Water's response left so many people in Islington without key information or access to water for an unacceptable period of time.

"We've been on Thames Water's case since the devastating flood in Angel, but so far all we seem to be getting are warm words. It's time they took decisive action to get their operation in order, so that they don't let local people down again."

Ms Abbott said the meeting was useful, adding: "It will be important to get compensation levels right and get the money to residents swiftly. There are also long-term issues about maintenance which Thames Water will have to consider."

Anyone affected can contact Thames Water 24/7 on 0345 604 8580.

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