At the outset of the meeting I emphasised our outrage that our arguments had not changed Thames Water's decision. When questioned about how many of our arguments they had accepted, Mr Mitchell acknowledged that we had extremely valid concerns which he and his team hope to address.
I pressed Mr Mitchell on how much contact they had had with parents and potential parents of pupils at St Joseph's RC Primary School on Crossfield Street, as well as on what could be done for local residents - particularly for those on Crossfields estate. He gave assurances that they will work with St Paul's Church, the school and the community to minimise disruption and the impact of the works. His team had met with the head of the school and gave commitments that they would address the concerns of parents directly (as well as residents). Mr Mitchell was confident of the company's ability to work with and within the community, but of course the 'proof is in the pudding'.
The contractors will be appointed around the end of March and I will maintain an active interest, despite the fact that I am standing down at the May 7th general election.