first_imgEnvironment Agency officers discovered other information and data highlighting repeated problems with the pumping station in the year before the pollution, which Thames Water failed to report to the Environment Agency.Judge Ross ordered Thames Water to pay full costs of £79,991.57. The company pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two charges of breaching environmental law.Media enquiries: 0800 141 2743 or [email protected] This incident was foreseeable and avoidable. Thames Water didn’t recognise the increased risk to the environment, ignoring or failing to respond adequately to more than 1,000 alarms. These streams are normally a haven for kingfishers, grey herons, brown trout and other fish and invertebrates. Sewage poured into the water for 24 hours, having a terrible impact, killing fish and other water life. We hope this prosecution sends a loud and clear message that the Environment Agency will not accept poor operation, management and maintenance of sewage pumping stations. Where we have evidence of offending and serious pollution incidents like here, we will take appropriate action to bring polluters to justice. Judge Ross said Thames Water was ‘reckless’ by taking an unacceptable level of risk with the environment. It allowed the sewage pumping station to operate with no automatically available standby pump for around 10 months in the year prior to the pollution. Thames Water has been fined £2million after raw sewage polluted two Oxfordshire streams, killing almost 150 fish. The sewage also flooded a nearby garden.Judge Peter Ross, at Oxford Crown Court on 21 December, ruled the incident in 2015 as a high-end, category three harm offence.Numerous failures in the management of a sewage pumping station operated by the company led to sewage created by two villages emptying into two brooks leading to the River Evenlode, a tributary of the River Thames, for up to 24 hours.Judge Ross found Thames Water were “reckless” in polluting Idbury and Littlestock brooks at Milton-under-Wychwood, near Chipping Norton, on 8 and 9 August 2015.Environment Agency officers were quickly on site, discovering the entire local population of almost 150 bullhead fish had been killed by the toxic waste along a 50-metre stretch of water.A member of the public reported dead fish in Idbury brook to the Environment Agency. A backlog of raw sewage was forced into the water from a sewer pipe that couldn’t hold it. Sewage also escaped from a manhole and onto a residential front garden.The court heard Thames Water disregarded more than 800 high-priority alarms needing attention within four hours in the six weeks before the incident. Another 300 alarms were not properly investigated, all of which would have pointed out failures with the pumping station. One alarm was deliberately deactivated during a night shift.Investigations by the Environment Agency revealed Thames Water was aware the pumping station failed several times in the 12 months up to and including the incident in August 2015.Robert Davis, who led the investigation for the Environment Agency, said:last_img read more


first_img UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Camelot aims for ‘Big September’ supporting a high street recovery August 26, 2020 2020 will see a battle of titanic egos and high stakes take place, as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) launches its tender to operate the fourth National Lottery contract from 2023.Monitoring early developments, UK media has branded the National Lottery tender as one of 2020’s most intriguing business narratives, as incumbent Camelot defends its position against hostile competitors seeking to end its 25-year reign.This weekend, The Daily Telegraph reported that billionaire Sir Richard Branson – founder and chairman of Virgin -would enter UKGC proceedings by launching his third attempt to secure the National Lottery.Riding champion stud Desert Orchid to Parliament in 1994, Branson launched his first ‘People’s Lottery’ campaign promising to ‘return all profits to charity’.The People’s Lottery bid would be declined by the Major Conservative government, who would back the formation of a ‘Camelot operating vehicle’ formed by ICL, Racal Electronics, Cadbury Schweppes and De La Rue in partnership with GTech as lead lottery systems supplier.Branson would contest the National Lottery’s second tender in 2000 by re-launching the ‘People’s Lottery’ bid, this time re-energised by the support of Compaq Microsoft and Kellogg’s.However, an acrimonious bid against Camelot would be rejected by the Blair Labour government, which in its review underlined that the People’s Lottery had failed to demonstrate the hardware capacity capable of running a national lottery retail network – a factor Branson deemed as foul play by Camelot backers.Having won back-to-back contracts in 1994, 2001 and 2009, securing the 2020 National Lottery tender will be Camelot’s biggest challenge to date, having faced recent political and media backlash regarding its fundraising and operations.In 2018, a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report detailed that National Lottery funding for good causes had fallen by 15%, despite Camelot increasing yearly profits by £39 million.Furthermore, Camelot has been criticised for placing too much emphasis on its scratch card inventory, whilst its attempts to revive the National Lottery main draw were criticised by players for adding a further 10 balls to the format, which in turn inflated the odds of hitting jackpots and increased the number of weekly roll-overs.Taking the fight to Camelot, newspaper tycoon Richard Desmond has instructed his Northern & Shell publishing group to launch a tech-savvy bid for the National Lottery in 2020.The outspoken billionaire criticised the government for allowing Camelot to maintain its position as lead lottery operator when the company was sold to The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund in 2010 for £390 million.Desmond maintains that the National Lottery should be operated by the British business stakeholders, rather than as an investment asset for a Canadian pension. Furthermore, in 2012 Camelot lost its UK High Court appeal against Northern & Shell, after challenging the UK publishers lottery format Health Lottery.Securing interest beyond British shores, further parties reported to be developing bids include Dutch lottery incumbent Novamedia BV, the operator of European Postcode Lotteries and a restructured Czech gambling conglomerate SAZKA Group, which this summer secured a majority stake in Greek operator OPAP.Entering 2020, the UK business community waits for the UKGC to publish its tender framework, in which the regulator will be supported by investment bank Rothschilds, auditor EY, management consultancy Deloitte and Law firm Hogan Lovells – four companies appointed to run the bidding process. StumbleUpon Related Articles Share Share Submit National Lottery Community Fund issues £14m in Climate Action grants August 24, 2020last_img read more