This note provides information on water bills in the south-west, which are significantly higher than in other parts of England. It describes the Government’s solution to the problem: a payment allowing a £50 reduction of South West Water customer bills from April 2013.
The Government plans to introduce a Water Bill in this parliamentary session. It will probably focus on increasing competition in the water sector, and it will also aim to deliver other objectives including the provision of flood insurance, the better management of water supplies and more sustainable water abstraction.
This note looks at long-running concerns about the dominance of the four major supermarkets in the UK groceries market - and the two inquiries undertaken by the competition authorities in the last decade.
This note provides background information on the Waste Water National Policy Statement, which streamlines planning policy for nationally significant waste water treatment projects such as the Thames Tunnel.
The Water Industry (Financial Assistance) Bill contains two measures. One will give the Government the discretion to reduce water bills in certain regions. The other will give the Government the discretion to provide financial assistance for major water and sewage infrastructure projects. Initially the Government plans to use these powers to reduce water bills in the South West of England and to support the Thames Tunnel project.
This note introduces the debate surrounding the surface water drainage charge, or “rain tax”. Following a change in legislation, water companies are now permitted to introduce surface water drainage charge concessionary rates for community groups.
Approximately 200,000 kilometres of privately owned sewers and lateral drains in England will be transferred to water and sewerage companies from 1 October 2011. This transfer will help to address many of the problems associated with these sewers.
There has been growing pressure to introduce legislation to address the threat of flooding and water scarcity—both are predicted to increase with climate change.
The Government published a draft Flood and Water Management Bill in April 2009, and the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee undertook pre-legislative scrutiny of the document. The Committee welcomed a number of the proposals, but it was concerned that a lack of parliamentary time would undermine the introduction of a comprehensive Bill. The Government introduced a slimmed-down version of the Bill on 19 November 2009.
Key features include measures to: require the Environment Agency to create a National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, which a number of organisations will have to follow; require lead local flood authorities to create Local Flood Risk Management Strategies; enable the Environment Agency and local authorities more easily to carry out flood risk management works; introduce a more risk-based approach to reservoir management; change the arrangements that would apply should a water company go into administration; enable water companies more easily to control non-essential uses of water, such as the use of hosepipes; enable water companies to offer concessions to community groups for surface water drainage charges; require the use of sustainable drainage systems in certain new developments; and, introduce a mandatory build standard for sewers.