Thames Water to axe up to 300 jobs

Up to 300 people at Thames Water are set to lose their jobs as the company tightens its belt in the face of rising costs and falling income.

The company, which has more than 5,000 staff, said the cuts would take places in all areas of the business, but most of those affected would be from support services based in Reading and Swindon.

However, Thames bosses said customers would not see a reduction in services as a result of the redundancies.

They added that the job cuts are part of a planned restructuring programme which has been brought forward as a result of the recession.

David Owens, chief executive officer of Thames Water, said: “We are now reporting our best ever operational performance and have managed to bring our running costs under control.

“At the same time, we have been planning a remodelling of the business, to be rolled out this year, which will allow us to meet future challenges.

“A number of redundancies had always been planned as part of this restructuring process.

“However the recession – which is reducing our revenue and driving up borrowing costs – has meant that we have had to bring this redundancy programme forward.

“This should allow us to reduce running costs while maintaining our services to customers.”

But one of Britain’s biggest trade unions said it doubted there was a need For Thames Water to shed so many jobs.

Gary Smith, national secretary of the GMB, said: “GMB want to meet Thames Water to discuss these job cuts.

“We will take some convincing that there is an economic case for these job losses.”

Kate Martin

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