Bosses from Thames Water will be invited and even possibly compelled to attend a meeting with the council where they will be made to answer for recent issues in Swindon

The request for the utility company to attend Swindon Borough Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee follows the three-day closure of Mead Way a major route which was badly flooded after a burst water main.. 

When discussing the committee’s future work programmes, member Councillor Neil Hopkins said: “We’ve got a situation in Mead Way which is quite serious."

He added: "There was a discussion some time ago about the possibility of inviting Thames Water because of local flooding and this council’s role as the lead local flood authority.

“I’d like us to think about inviting Thames Water to a meeting; we’ve had burst water mains, and there have been a number of leaks of sewage into local rivers and streams.

“And we heard earlier that there have been delays to the Fleming Way Bus hub project which are attributable to Thames Water."

He went on to describe the impact all of these issues were having on local people. 

Not only did the chairman of the committee Councillor Dale Heenan agree with Cllr Hopkins’ suggestion, he went somewhat further.

He said: “I’m supportive of using the statutory powers of this committee to insist that Thames Water attend.

Cllr Heenan said it would be a good topic to put on the agenda for the committee’s meeting on June 17: “That’s the first meeting of the new municipal year, let’s make it a working meeting as well as one concerned with the work programme.

“I think giving Thames Water three months’ notice is enough, but we shall see what they say.”

At the time the decision was made Mead Way had just re-opened after being flooded by a burst water main on Friday, March 15, and being closed for the best part of four days.

Earlier in the meeting, a member of the public Roy Worman had questioned the council’s cabinet member for finance Councillor Kevin Small about delays to the Fleming Way project.

Cllr Small said the work should be finished by the end of summer in 2025, but added: “It all depends on whether Thames Water begin the necessary work this year. If they don’t it’ll slip.”

Cllr Small added that the council was not able to recover the costs of delays from the water company as that was not allowed in law.

Thames Water has been approached for comment.