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Water Rates And Charges

Volume 888: debated on Monday 17 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will seek powers to give himself control over the level of water rates levied by water authorities.

The Water Act 1973 established the water authorities as self-supporting financial entities. I have no plans to overturn those arrangements by seeking additional powers.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the decision of a number of regional water authorities to equalise their charges in the next financial year, he will instruct such bodies to implement his policy to phase this process over a seven-year period.

The Water Act 1973 allows water authorities considerable autonomy in fixing their charges. My right hon. Friend has, however, urged authorities to adopt a cautious approach to equalisation. We hope that they will heed this advice.