Jobs to be created as Severn Trent tackles flooding and environment

Water company Severn Trent says that new proposals to improve the environment, including tackling flooding, will create new jobs in the West Midlands.

Flooding along the River Severn in Bewdley
Flooding along the River Severn in Bewdley

It is also taking on 500 young people under the Government's Kickstart programme.

Severn Trent, which serves millions of customers across the Midlands and Mid Wales, used its trading update to reveal it is in "constructive talks" with Ofwat and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on potential investment opportunities as part of the Government's Green Recovery initiative.

It submitted a number of proposals on January 31 and will continue discussions during the review process, which is expected to conclude by September.

Coventry-based Severn Trent believes its proposals support its environmental ambitions, will create jobs in the region and support national sustainability objectives on climate change, flood resilience, river water quality and water consumption.

The River Severn continues to flood on an almost annual basis, and questions have been raised about the ability of existing defences in areas like Ironbridge and Bewdley. Shropshire Council is in discussions with other local authorities and the Environment Agency to slow down the flow of the river by creating a dam upstream near Shrewsbury.

Invested

In urban areas, drainage continues to be an issue, causing localised flooding in the event of torrential rain.

Severn Trent says that since the start of October it has continued to deliver a strong operational performance and resilient financial results.

It says that despite being set challenging targets for this year it has invested wisely and worked tirelessly to outperform.

Severn Trent says it remains on track for its best ever performance on a number of measures, including a reduction in water quality complaints. In dealing with waste it has started the five-year asset management plan strongly with 25 per cent fewer blockages and a 15 per cent reduction in pollutions in the year.

The board remains confident of delivering annual results in line with expectations with full-year figures due to be announced on May 26.

Severn Trent says the challenges facing its customers and communities as a result of the pandemic are never far from its thoughts.

To date it has helped more than 120,000 customers who are struggling to pay their bills and is providing a range of flexible schemes to support them as their circumstances change.

In its trading statement, it said: "More broadly, we continue to support local projects, with £2.4 million now awarded to 384 community organisations to help where it is needed most.

"At our half-year results we announced our ambitious plans to support the Government Kickstart Scheme with 500 opportunities, and we are pleased to announce that we welcomed our first cohort of Kickstarts into the business in January."

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