Southern Water Chief Executive should come to the Isle of Wight says MP – and he can bring his Lawyers!
Following our news of a debate in the House of Commons last night , the Island’s MP is asking Southern Water to agree to arbitration to resolve the long running dispute about water charges between Southern Water in Gatcombe and Chillerton.
Andrew Turner raised the issue as villagers and Southern Water reached a stalemate where it seemed the only option open to the villagers was to take Southern Water to court to obtain what they believe are their legal rights. The 1907 Seely Agreement at the heart of the dispute says that ‘any questions or differences whatsoever’ between the two parties should be decided by arbitration. But Southern Water, who have taken over the benefits and liabilities of the agreement have so far refused to agree to the process.
Mr Turner said :
“If Southern Water are so certain they are in the right why won’t they enter into arbitration? They know there is no realistic prospect of them being taken to court by the ‘little people’ and they also know that their regulator has refused to get involved. They are interpreting the law to be what they want it to be, and riding roughshod over my constituents. Southern Water is a huge, monopoly supplier and that is disgraceful.
“I have asked them this morning to agree to arbitration, but have had no answer as yet. Last night James Paice MP, the DEFRA Minister answering my debate said it would be ‘a sensible and logical step’ and he ‘strongly urged’ both sides to enter into the process; my constituents are perfectly willing to do that.
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