Sports clubs and voluntary groups face crippling increases in water charges if water companies get their way!
The Government is inviting views on its guidance to water and sewerage companies on concessionary schemes for community groups, to protect them from unaffordable surface water drainage charges. This is to accompany provisions made in the Flood and Water Management Act. It covers:
• the need for a concessionary scheme
• which community groups should be included in concessionary schemes
• what constitutes a fair and affordable charge
• the needs of other customers.
The consultation is aimed at water and sewerage companies, Ofwat, the Consumer Council for Water, community and voluntary groups and other non-household water and sewerage customers.
A number of sports governing bodies were instrumental in fighting off the last attempt by water companies to greatly increase the cost of surface water charges.
Many sports clubs would face potentially crippling increases, from hundreds to thousands of pounds a year, if water companies were able to introduce these increased charges.
The updated Guidance Document has been developed to inform local authorities on how to approach the development of a surface water management plan, particularly in areas at high risk of surface water flooding.
The guidance reflects the roles that different organisations will take in the development of surface water management plans, and takes account of the findings from the six Defra funded first edition surface water management plans.
A Government review concluded that surface water management plans should provide the basis for managing local flood risk.
In order to help develop the surface water management plan guidance, and move forward local flood risk management in some key high risk areas, six local authorities were funded to develop first edition surface water management plans. The local authorities involved in this pilot were; Gloucestershire, Hull, Leeds, Richmond, Warrington and Thatcham.
This work has been overseen by a Steering Group, including Defra, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Environment Agency.
The deadline for responses is 22 October 2010.
Further information on how to respond to the consultation can be found at - http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/surface-charges/index.htm. This includes a sample consultation letter and other documentation.
You can also write to Jennifer Offord, Water Charging and Economic Regulation Team, Defra, Area 2C, Ergon House, Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 2AL. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pitchcare would urge all sports clubs to respond to this threat.
The list of consultees is:
Action with Communities in Rural England
All Party Parliamentary Group on Sewers and Sewerage
All Party Parliamentary Group on Water
Central Council for Physical Recreation
Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management
Church of England
Competition Commission Confederation of British Industry
Consumer Council for Water
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee
Environmental Industries Commission
Federation of Small Businesses
Foundation for Water Research
The Football Association
The Environmental Sustainability Knowledge Transfer Network
Lawn Tennis Association
National Council for Voluntary Organisations Natural England
Natural Environment Research Council
Office of Fair Trading
Rugby Football Union
The Scout Association
Severn Trent Water
Society of British Water & Wastewater Industries
South West Water