‘It has sent a message to the industry’: Thame Angling Club chairman reacts to Thames Water’s record pollution fine

Thames Water has today been issued with a record fine for pollution of the River Thames
Thames Water has today been issued with a record fine for pollution of the River Thames
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The chairman of an angling club which was impacted by the pollution scandal in the River Thames has said he is pleased with the level of the fine issued to the company today (Wednesday).

A judge at Aylesbury Crown Court earlier handed out a record fine of £20 million to Thames Water for a series of pollution incidents in the River Thames.

The stretches of river affected were at Aylesbury, Little Marlow, Henley, Littlemore, Didcot and Arborfield and included the stretches of water where members of Thame Angling Club are allowed to fish.

Barry Mullen, the club’s chairman and secretary said: “I am pleased with the level of the fine.

“The judge obviously recognised the severity of the issue and the previous offences of the water company.

“It has sent a message to the industry.”

The impacts of the pollution on the club have included a significant decline in membership.

Mr Mullen said: “We suffered because the numbers of fish fell and the water quality deteroriated.

“Our membership has dropped from around 300 to 100 and it has been a difficult time for the club.”

Although Mr Mullen said he was pleased with the financial penalty, the highest ever given to a utilities company, he was disappointed that there appeared to be no accountability for the offences at a higher level.

He said: “Management were obviously aware of the issues but did not address them.

“This case has shown that senior management were lax and in some ways they have got away with it.

“I hope now that the case is resolved the water quality and the fish stock improves.”