Meeting to be held over water prices

CONSUMER body WaterVoice Eastern is to meet with water companies in Ipswich later this month to discuss proposals for prices over the next five years.Ofwat's draft decisions over how much water companies across the region can charge their customers over the period 2005-10 will be discussed at the meeting on September 21, which will be open to the public.

CONSUMER body WaterVoice Eastern is to meet with water companies in Ipswich later this month to discuss proposals for prices over the next five years.

Ofwat's draft decisions over how much water companies across the region can charge their customers over the period 2005-10 will be discussed at the meeting on September 21, which will be open to the public.

WaterVoice Eastern, which looks after the interests of customers of Anglian, Cambridge, Tendring Hundred and Essex and Suffolk, said it is pleased Ofwat has reduced the companies' proposals for price rises. However it wants to ensure customers' priorities will be met and that standards of service can be maintained.

WaterVoice Eastern will be looking particularly at the security of supply, drinking water quality and minimising sewer flooding to make sure these will not be affected by the proposed reduction in prices.


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Catherine Harvey, WaterVoice Eastern Chairman, said: "We welcome the proposed reduction in prices for customers and the demanding efficiency targets. We are pleased we have been listened to. But we are still concerned about the large increase in 2005-06, the first of the five-year period and the impact this will have on those who already find it difficult to pay their water bill. We are also concerned about the proposed reduction to the sewer flooding programme. This is inconsistent with customer priorities.

"We would like customers to tell us what they think about the proposed water prices for 2005-10 so we can include them in our formal response to Ofwat in mid-October before Ofwat makes its final decision in December."

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Members of the public are also encouraged to go along to WaterVoice Eastern's next meeting in public at the Holiday Inn, Ipswich. on September 21, at 1pm.

Customers can also write to WaterVoice Eastern, e-mail them at eastern@watervoice.org.uk or fill in a response form on WaterVoice's website at www.watervoice.org.uk

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