Consultation: guidance to protect community groups from surface water drainage charges

Defra has launched a consultation on new guidance to water companies on concessionary surface water drainage charges.

As a result of the switch by some water companies from the rateable value to a site area method of calculating surface water drainage charges some community groups experienced unaffordable water charges. As part of the Flood and Water Management Act this new guidance will protect such community groups.

Environment Minister Richard Benyon said:

‘We want to make sure that community and voluntary groups do not face unaffordable water bills. In some cases this part of the bill had become so high that it was threatening the future of many scouts, sports and church groups. Now such bills will be fair and affordable.’

The consultation seeks your views on:

  • Identifying the need for companies to implement concessionary schemes;
  • Which community groups should benefit from any such schemes;
  • Setting an affordable charge; and
  • The impact on other customers.

A wide range of interested parties are being consulted, including water and sewerage companies, community organisations, Ofwat and the Consumer Council for Water.  If you would like to have your say please visit this dedicated consultation page on the Defra site.  You can also find more information in the press notice.  The consultation closes on 22 October 2010 and guidance will be issued later in the year.

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One Comment

  1. Posted 30 July, 2010 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I am pleased to see DEFRA taking some action and looking into the impact on social groups regarding water bills. Groups like scouts, churches and sports clubs need to be supported by the entire community as they benefit us all both directly and indirectly.
    Personally I would support huge concessions to all of these groups.

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