Southwark Council’s Leader has refused to apologise to residents for the Council’s recent Super Sewer bungle, despite requests from local Liberal Democrat councillors.
Earlier this month, the High Court threw out the Council’s application for a judicial review into the decision to allow Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey to be used as a drive tunnelling site for the Thames Tideway Tunnel, also known as the Super Sewer.
The Council had been working with a community campaign, supported by all the political parties, to try to overturn the decision and was confident that the court would find in its favour. The proposed tunnelling works will last seven years and operate 24 hours a day.
The judicial review application was rejected at the High Court though after the Council submitted its application a day late. The Leader of the Council has since tried to blame ‘ambiguous’ legislation and has refused to take responsibility for the bungle.
At the last meeting of the council, Liberal Democrats called on the Leader to apologise for letting down residents around Chambers Wharf due to the council’s actions. Liberal Democrats also urged the Leader to use the money that would have been spent on the judicial review to reduce the misery from works due to start in March. The Leader of the Council refused to apologise or give a commitment to mitigate the impact of works.
Councillor Anood Al-Samerai, Leader of the Opposition in Southwark, said:
“It is devastating for local residents that the Council’s failure to put the application in on time led to the High Court throwing out the judicial review about Chambers Wharf.
“It’s bad enough that the Labour Leader of the Council refused to apologise for such an enormous bungle, but now he is also refusing to spend the money on the community.
“Local Liberal Democrat councillors will continue to press for this financial support. It is the least the Council can do given the legal mess they have caused and it might help to minimise some of the disruption residents will face around Chambers Wharf. Residents should not have to pay the price for council bungles.”