On May 1, I joined Theo Thomas, the London Water Keeper, and a group of 20 swimmers from Kenwood Ladies Pond and Hampstead Men’s Pond for a swim in the River Thames, in Richmond.
The intention of the swim was to raise awareness to Theo’s project ‘A Thames Fit To Swim’, a campaign run by London founded to advocate new ways we connect with and care for rivers in London.
Theo hopes the project will be creating a movement of people that want to see a swimmable Thames and all the benefits that would bring to the environment and the health of the capital’s population.
People will soon be able to become members of London Waterkeeper which will strengthen its voice against the authority which governs the river, Thames Water. Thames Water was fined £20.3 million in March 2017 for dumping raw sewage into the river. The company is owned by a consortium of foreign and national institutional investors, with ownership routed through tax havens and a board of directors who are all investors. It is hard to imagine that these board members put public interest before profit.
Thames Water paid 0% corporation tax between 2011 and 2015 even though the fine of £20.3 million equates to 2 weeks operation profit of the company.
The web page for the campaign is here – http://londonwaterkeeper.org.uk/a-thames-fit-to-swim