Water bills are substantially higher in the North West due to surface water highways drainage charges.
Author: Graham Mann, Water Audit Expert.
Water bills are substantially higher in the North West due to surface water highways drainage charges billed by United Utilities, some areas of the UK pay substantially less for the same service.
This according to council bosses in Preston is having an adverse effect on children’s education in the area.
A comparison was made at a full council meeting with schools in Kent that pay on average £5,000 per school and in Preston they pay £10,000 per school.
The concern is education is funded on a per child basis, according to an article in the Lancashire Evening Post the council are seeking exemption from these apparent high surface water and highways drainage charges to provide more funding for education.
It was decided at a full council meeting that the councils Chief Executive will write to the Chairman of United Utilities, the Secretary of State for Education and the water regulator OFWAT to express the councils dismay at the disadvantages being placed on children in Preston.
A spokesperson for the water supplier in the North West United Utilities claims the North West’s higher population and higher rainfall and industrial legacy means waste water services are more expensive here in the North West than on the South East – Really?
I for one am not sure that is correct and have seen no evidence to support this claim from United Utilities, taking a “broad brush” view I would say inner and outer London and many suburbs in the South are far more heavily populated and even when we see on the national news flooding in the South, United Utilities defence of much higher surface water and highways drainage charges hold little water for me and other water consultants in the industry. Charges for surface water and highways drainage are probably the highest in the North under United Utilities than in any other water company in England and Wales by some margin.
The debate will rumble on for many months yet as water and waste water bills come more into business and public sector focus due to changes happening in England in 2017 when the English water retail market opens up to competition which will bring water charges into much sharper focus as already we are seeing a marked increase in enquiries from Public Sector such as NHS Trusts and Schools and Manufacturing and Leisure which is good for business and good for the environment.
Do you have a surface water and highways drainage query?
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