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Water Charges

Volume 889: debated on Thursday 10 April 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will seek to amend the Water Act 1973 so as to ensure that representatives of the district councils are able to participate in the processes whereby the regional water authorities determine their general service charges;(2) if he will seek to amend the Water Act 1973 so as to ensure that representatives of the administrative county councils are able to participate in the processes whereby the regional water authorities determine their general service charges.

The Water Act 1973 already provides for members appointed by local authorities to be in a majority on water authorities.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce appropriate legislation to apply the rate support grant system to relieve individual ratepayers of part of the cost of water rates.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce appropriate legislation transferring the cost of servicing all present capital expenditure presently the responsibility of

the total sums spent during the year 1974–75 and estimated to be required for 1975–76 in order to service past capital expenditure.

the various regional water authorities to the Exchequer.

There is nothing I can add to my answer of 27th March in reply to the hon. Member for Caernarvon (Mr. Wigley).—[Vol. 889, c. 257–8.]

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the Government's having requested the various regional water authorities to allow only 9 per cent. for inflation during the past year when fixing their charges for 1974–75, he will take appropriate action to make available to each regional water authority the amount needed to make up any deficit thereby incurred.

I am not aware of any such request to regional water authorities. My right hon. Friend has no plans to increase public expenditure by introducing subsidies to water authorities.