Water charges to rise

SCOTTISH Water is to increase its water charges this year by 2.8 per cent, which it says it needs to continue its programme of investment.

Annual council tax bills being delivered through letter boxes will include combined water supply and waste water collection charges that come into effect from 1 April 2013.

The average Scottish Water charge for households across Scotland in 2013/14 will be around £334.

Household charges had remained unchanged since April 2009 and this increase is the first in four years,

Douglas Millican, interim chief executive, said: “We are working hard to ensure that in the next few years, charges remain stable while we continue to deliver vital investment. That’s why I’d encourage all our customers to have their say on our consultation on the future of water services, which runs until February.

“Our customers are benefiting from Scottish Water’s continuing strong financial performance and its focus on delivering further efficiencies. That is why we have been able to restrict this price rise to only 2.8 per cent - delivering benefits to our customers.

“Our customers are continuing to see value in the charges they pay and improved service. The quality of our drinking water is the best it has ever been, we are continuing to improve the natural environment across Scotland, cutting water leaking from our pipes and customer service is continuing to improve.

“We believe these charges are a fair deal for our customers in these challenging economic conditions.

“These charges are helping to pay for the current £2.5 billion investment programme which is delivering the investment that Scotland needs in its water infrastructure while providing thousands of construction jobs. Millions of people are turning on their taps to clearer, fresher drinking water, enjoying a cleaner environment and receiving improved customer service as a result.”