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Who regulates the regulators? - Farron demands Government intervention over Ofwat failure to support charities hit by high water charges

February 3, 2009 3:24 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has reacted angrily to a refusal by Ofwat to support charities hit by the change in the way surface water drainage is being charged by water companies, including United Utilities.

In a letter to North West MPs received this week, Ofwat's chief executive has accepted that United Utilities have handled the change in charging badly, but she fails to support the charities which have been dealt a knockout blow by the new charges.

Churches and community groups across the South Lakes have been facing a financial headache as yearly charges for surface water drainage increase from a few hundred pounds to many thousands of pounds.

Mr Farron said: "Ofwat should be looking out for the consumer, not doing the water companies bidding. If Ofwat are unprepared to take action, then the Government must step in and intervene.

"Charities are seeing huge drops in income as a result of the credit crunch, and these changes in charging are just going to make things worse. These groups provide our communities with a focus during challenging times - we should be supporting their work not making their job harder."