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Higher water bills to cover £850 million South West Water proposals for Cornwall

By WBgdavies  |  Posted: August 16, 2013

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Higher water bills to cover £850 million South West Water proposals for Cornwall

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South West Water has announced £850 million plans to improve Cornwall's water and sewerage service, but it will mean higher bills.

Under the plans, Water treatment works in Falmouth and Bude will be upgraded to improve tap water quality, flood defences will be built at the company's sites in Restormal, Drift and Falmouth to keep them running in extreme weather, sewerage networks will be improved to protect the shellfisheries along the Fal Estuary from polution, sewers prone to blockages in Helston and Hayle will be tackled and the main pipes around Launceston will be duelled.

The company has unveiled its draft WaterFuture proposals and is seeking customer feedback before they are submitted to the water industry regulator Ofwat later this year.

South West Water had divided the proposals into eight themed investments, from ensuring the region has the water it needs to value for money charging and it has revealed how future bills may add up as a result.

Currently it is recommending below inflation bill increases of around 2.5 per cent a year, an average increase of £68 between 2015 and 2020, when the work is due to take place.

Chief executive Chris Loughlin said: "We still need to invest in our networks to maintain the achievements of the past such as reduced leakage rates, record tap water quality and transformed bathing waters.

“There are also new challenges to face including population growth, the likelihood of more extreme weather and higher bathing water standards from 2015. Our aim is to invest in the right things at the right time to both improve our services and give the region the reliable ‘always there’ infrastructure it needs.

“In some areas like water resources, we don’t need to invest in expensive new reservoirs. However, in other areas such as our programme to improve raw water quality on the moors, if we don’t invest sooner rather than later we could end up facing much higher costs in the future.

“We believe we are close to striking the right balance between the needs of customers, the environment and the economy. Although no one likes to see bills increase, we should be able to keep future increases below the rate of inflation.

“However, before we finalise our plan in December, we need to hear whether customers think we are getting it right. Should we invest more or less in each area? I urge everyone to get involved in WaterFuture to make sure we do the best job for you.”

Customers, groups and organisations have until September 14 to give their feedback by visiting clicking heret or writing to Freepost Waterfuture.

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7 comments

  • Big_Ger  |  August 16 2013, 10:34PM

    "I personally think it is about time hotels and camp sites, holiday parks and chalet companies are hit with a massive surcharge to cover the exceptional load they place on the system." says twofeetofsnow Do you really think that these places do not already pay their share of water bills then? Are they exempt in your mind? They do already. But here's a good idea, let's place an even higher burden on the already struggling tourism industry, making more of them go bust. That will lead to higher unemployment in the county which will definitely make working people's bills go down, won't it? Great plan!!

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  • DipStick  |  August 16 2013, 8:02PM

    ""In some areas like water resources, we're not going to invest in new reservoirs because they're so expensive the shareholders wouldn't like it and the CEO wouldn't get his enormous annual bonus."" Fixed that for them! DS

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  • TheodoreV  |  August 16 2013, 1:19PM

    As I have always said, naive Cornwall Council blithely approve huge increases in house building without considering the true implications and costs. Water provision and use has huge environmental impact beyond mere cost, though this is also an important element. South West water is already the most expensive in the country. We, the population, have been sold a pup. We have lost control of our country to private, oil dominated, interests.

    Rate   12
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  • twofeetofsnow  |  August 16 2013, 1:17PM

    Wonderful, the highest water bills in the country landed on some of the poorest paid people, I personally think it is about time hotels and camp sites, holiday parks and chalet companies are hit with a massive surcharge to cover the exceptional load they place on the system.

    Rate   7
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  • rags_n_bones  |  August 16 2013, 1:17PM

    The company has unveiled its draft WaterFuture proposals and is seeking customer feedback before they are submitted to the water industry regulator Ofwat later this year. GET STUFFFFFFFFED

    Rate   14
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  • josdave  |  August 16 2013, 1:06PM

    What a surprise a water company making huge profits putting up the price. Next MPs will be praising a £50 rebate which will not come from the rich SWW but from us the taxpayer.

    Rate   14
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  • Doitdreckley  |  August 16 2013, 12:53PM

    When you break this down people in the south west are being told that they need to pay for the the future of the tourist industry and future population growth coming into the area. A Tourism Tax and a Migration Tax should be paying for these things

    Rate   14
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