Maria met with members of the senior management team who updated her on the progress of the project. They also briefed her on how the broader benefits will be maximised, for instance the commitment to the recruitment of a local labour force and apprentices during the project’s construction phase (from 2015 -2023).
Later she heard from apprentices and graduates already working on the project, who demonstrated a new interactive tool to illustrate how the tunnel will tackle discharges of sewage into the tidal River Thames through central London.
Also on hand to show their support for the project were Carlo Laurenzi (London Wildlife Trust) and Peter Finch (River Thames Society) from ‘Thames Tunnel Now’ a coalition of environment and recreation campaign groups representing over five million members. It was formed in October 2011 to call for the end to sewage pollution in the tidal Thames through the construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel.
Afterwards the shadow minister commented: “The Thames Tideway Tunnel offers both important environmental benefits and real opportunities for jobs and apprenticeships. It is therefore vital that this scheme continues to secure cross-party support to enable it to deliver long term benefits for Londoners.”
“London’s sewers were not designed for eight million people. Even small amounts of rain can cause massive amounts of untreated sewage to be discharged into the River Thames, with detrimental consequences for our environment and wildlife.”