Sir Bob Geldof urges customers not to pay Southern Water bills

Live Aid campaigner Sir Bob Geldof has urged Southern Water customers to refuse to pay their bills over the firm’s ongoing sewage pollution problems.

Speaking at a climate change event at Faversham's Assembly Rooms in Kent, the Boomtown Rats star said the £90m fine Southern Water paid earlier this year for illegal discharges into the sea was a "drop in the ocean".

According to the Mirror, Geldof also said he supported the decision of some residents in Whitstable to make a stand and refuse to pay the waste water portion of their bills.

"Don't pay your water bills to Southern Water, they can fuck off!” cried Geldoff. 

"I can't understand why this giant utility company can't be held to account. Why aren't the board liable? Why aren't they going to jail? I really don't understand it. They are doing vile harm to adults and children who go swimming, and vile harm to livelihoods. How are they allowed to do this? I'm absolutely certain if there was a one-year minimum custodial sentence for them, then it would stop.”

ENDS reported last week that local residents in Portsmouth and in Kent, where beaches have been forced to close a number of times in recent months due to sewage spills, were considering withholding payments.

At the time, Southern Water said it would spend £2bn on improvements between 2020 and 2025 and cut pollution incidents by 80% by 2025.

A spokesperson added: “The bills customers pay us are absolutely crucial for us to be able to make the investments we need to deliver environmental benefits, better customer service and boost local economies.”