Plans to move Thames Water customers in the Cotswolds on to meters in pipeline
DURING a recent Parliamentary debate, Cotswold MP Geoffrey Clifton-Brown addressed rumours that Thames Water customers in Cirencester will be forced to switch to a water meter.
The debate, which was held in Parliament last Monday, members debate a new bill that would see increased competition in the water industry as well as introducing a new scheme of household flood insurance.
At one point in the debate, Mr Clifton-Brown said: “At least half my constituency is supplied by Thames Water. There are consistent rumours that it is thinking about forcing all its customers on to water meters. Will the Bill make it easier for Thames Water to do that?”
His question was addressed by North Cornwall MP Dan Rogerson who said: “Companies in water-stressed areas will be able to push people towards meters. With regard to managing a scarce resource, it is desirable, but we must carefully examine the implications, such as the cost of the investment needed to install meters and the impact on bills.”
However, following a request by the Standard, Thames Water has said that customers in the Cotswolds won’t be moved to a meter for at least seven years.
A spokesman said: “We will eventually meter customers in Cirencester but it certainly isn’t in our immediate plans. In fact it is currently estimated that we won’t meter households outside of London until 2020.”
Speaking to the Standard after the debate, Mr Clifton-Brown said: “The purpose of my intervention was to make it clear that it would be quite wrong for Thames Water, who have significant problems with leakage in London, to use that as an excuse to ask the government to introduce compulsory water metering for all its customers when the water situation in the Cotswolds is completely different.”
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