Thames Water up for Town Hall review two years after ‘unacceptable’ response to Angel floods

Islington Town Hall. Photograph: Islington Council.

Thames Water’s actions following the company’s “unacceptable” response to the 2016 Upper Street burst water main are up for review.

About 100 people had to be evacuated from their flooded homes in the December incident, with the London Fire Brigade reporting the water as two-metres (6.5 feet) deep in basement properties on Charlton Place.

The Town Hall’s 24 January policy and performance scrutiny committee will now weigh up a 12-month progress report on a list of 14 recommendations made in 2017 to the water supplier to better their response.

The council report on the event says: “Overall the Committee concluded that the response to the Thames Water burst at Angel and the general handling of burst water mains within Islington and Hackney is unacceptable.

“It recognised the causes of these bursts related to ageing infrastructure, climate change and the lack of ongoing investment by Thames Water.

“The delays in Thames Water responding to this situation led to Thames Water not being on site for some hours and this had exacerbated the devastation caused by the major trunk mains burst.”

The report goes on to state that Thames Water has provided Islington with £100,000 which will be used to fund community improvement projects, which could include entrance features to Camden Passage, extra litter and recycling bins, and improvements to local schools.

Following discussions around the flood, the company has changed its replacement policy from “like for like” to “new for old”, meaning that any damaged items will be replaced with brand new ones rather than ones of similar condition.

The Town Hall has also put in place its own measures to guard against a recurrence of the floods, with a stock of 350 sandbags now in place at Vale Royal.