One of the big concerns in local government is around future housing growth in the South East, and the chronic lack of resources to satisfy future demand.
For example, take the supply of water. Did you know that the South East actually has less water available per person than the Sudan or Syria? And yet we pay fortunes on our water rates, and the charges are set to escalate year on year.
And I hear that Government may allow a move by water companies to install water meters for every consumer. Once that happens, consumers may be asked to pay differential rates depending on where they live. For instance, those living in a housing growth area such as Ashford or Kent Thameside may end up paying a premium to cover the additional cost of putting in supply infrastructure for the new homes.
This isn’t on. The water companies make more than enough money out of us, and it’s a real insult that they could even think of charging higher prices when they can’t even control their leakage rates. Why can’t OFWAT force them to get their leakage under control – maybe then the prices could start to fall to a sensible level.
Kent County Council commissioned an excellent Select Committee report on Water and Wastewater back in September 2005. Maybe it’s time to update that report, and start to lobby Government for a sensible and sustainable approach.