asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will dismiss the Chairman of the South West Water Authority on the grounds that the authority is advertising for about 80 posts paid up to £8,000 per year to enable it to collect charges due to it from consumers who currently pay these charges through the existing rating system, and that this is contrary to his exhortation to water authorities to exercise maximum economy in order to keep the increase in charges as low as possible.
No. The Water Act 1973 placed responsibility for water services on the new water authorities and thus separated these services from local government. It would therefore appear to follow that it is desirable for direct billing to be introduced as soon as possible. This was also the view of the local authority associations when they were consulted earlier this year about the arrangements for collecting water charges for 1975–76.