Water - No Privatisation And No Metering

in Water

The General Consumer Council is opposed to the privatisation of the Water Service calling instead for a new public water authority to be set up.1

The Consumer Council also rejects water metering preferring the present arrangement of paying through the regional rate. “The amount of water you use has only a small impact on the overall cost,” said Joan Whiteside, Chairman of the General Consumer Council. “Most of the expense is in pipes, purification and sewerage treatment works. It would cost millions2 to install a water meter in every house when the money could be better spent elsewhere. For this reason the Consumer Council believes that it would be better to continue to pay through the regional rate.” The Council also wants to see · effective regulation of the new water authority, · the banning of domestic disconnections on public health grounds, and · a stronger role for the Council in representing water consumers. NOTES TO EDITORS 1 Water and Sewerage Services in Northern Ireland - a consultation paper. Issued by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland in November 1998. 2 Estimated capital cost of £95 million based on 590,000 households costing £160 each.

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