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Water Supply: Northern Ireland

Volume 691: debated on Wednesday 2 May 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 18 April (WA 87) concerning the disbandment of the Northern Ireland Water Council, whether extra funding is being provided to the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland to allow the council to act as a consumer representative. [HL3396]

Chapter III of Part III of the Water and Sewerage Services (NI) Order 2006 confers functions on the General Consumer Council for Northern Ireland in relation to consumer matters on water and sewerage services. Condition N, paragraph 2(7) of the licence appointing the statutory water and sewerage undertaker provides for the appointee to pay fees to meet the approved expenditure necessary for the council to undertake its new responsibilities. In 2006/07 the Department for Regional Development provided the council with £470,000 to meet preparatory costs for its new role. The annual budget of the Water Council was £10,000.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What costs were associated with the decision to cancel the sending out of water charge notices in Northern Ireland; and who bore that cost. [HL3447]

The Secretary of State's decision to defer charges until 8 May resulted in around £8 million of revenue forgone from charges. This is being met by government subsidy.