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Floods: Compensation

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 10 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make representations to Severn Trent plc to grant compensation to Gloucestershire residents who were without mains water for a substantial period of time following the July floods. (177678)

Under the GSS (Guaranteed Service Standard) automatic right to compensation is not available to those Severn Trent customers that found themselves without water. This is because compensation is not payable if the disruption is caused by severe weather conditions (including flooding). Nonetheless, Severn Trent Water has put in place a community recovery fund of £3.5 million to support a range of projects in Gloucestershire. This payment was made on a voluntary basis and will come from company profits rather than customers’ bills.

Research carried out and reported by Consumer Council for Water found that most residents recognise that the flooding and subsequent loss of water supply to over 140,000 households was unprecedented and that the majority are not seeking compensation. Instead they are seeking a clear commitment from Severn Trent that the company will invest to protect its infrastructure.