FLOODING victims have welcomed a multi-million pound fine for Thames Water.

The firm, which supplies water across Swindon, is set to be landed with a £12.5m fine by water regulator Ofwat because of misreporting and poor customer service.

Residents caught up in the summer's floods are still waiting to meet with representatives from the company, and view the fines as a payback for the suffering they have been subjected to.

Ofwat announced on Friday that it plans to fine Thames Water £11.1m for misreporting regulatory information and £1.4m for failings which led to poor customer service.

Thames, Britain's largest water company, has said it will challenge the fine, having described it as being "totally disproportionate", and that funds will have to be diverted away from repairs.

Dilys Jones, of Goldcrest Walk in Covingham, said the fine could be seen as a form of karma to local residents who have been unable to get answers from the company, and that the customer service fine was justified.

"Although I have no evidence and it is based on hearsay, if the water authority had actually done what they are supposed to do - what we pay our water rates for - in maintaining the infrastructure, we wouldn't have been in the state we were in in July," she said.

"I'm very pleased to see them being picked up on for their operations as it means somebody has recognised they are delivering very poor customer service, which indirectly is what we are talking about in Covingham."

Covingham and Nythe councillor Phil Young has campaigned on behalf of residents for meetings with representatives from Thames Water, and said the fine brought some form of accountability.

He said: "We are still extremely disappointed with the weak response from them to residents of Covingham and Nythe.

"These people have been paying their water bills to Thames Water, so it should be accountable."

Stewart Jane, of Haydon Wick, said that although he personally had no complaints about treatment by the company in the wake of the floods he was aware of people living nearby whose homes have been repeatedly affected. But he is concerned that the fine could mean they are short of cash when it comes to completing future repair works which could prevent future floods.

"In essence, from my perspective, it would be wrong for them to be fined, then them declare not to have enough money to do reparation works," he said.