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3 April 2015, 06:00
Work's going into full-flow by Anglian Water into a £5 billion improvement works across the east of England much of at the Grafham Water works near Huntingdon.
The water company will be investing in the areas that customers said matter most to them during Anglian Water's biggest ever public consultation. The Business Plan this shaped is supported by more than 90 per cent of customers.
The plan promises to deliver a £60m war on leakage; investment to ensure resilient water and water recycling services, to protect customers and the environment from severe weather such as drought and flooding; and commitments to tackle the impacts of climate change.
Martyn Oakley, Anglian Water's Director of Customer Service said:
"There is also a pledge on the cost of living, while, committing to this multibillion pound investment programme, average customer bills are dropping by 7 per cent this year - the biggest percentage fall of all other water and sewerage companies in the UK. We've also introduced a brand new tariff for those struggling to pay and the Anglian Water Assistance Fund has been increased to £1m to help customers facing real financial hardship."
The average annual bill has dropped by £29 to £402 this year, or £1.10 per day. Customers with a water meter pay even less, with the average bill dropping to £371.
Projects will be starting right across the region this week, delivered by Anglian Water and its carefully selected supply chain partners which have signed new contracts that could run for 15 years - an industry first. These longer partnerships will make the business even more efficient, collaborative and innovative, while ensuring customers are completely satisfied with the service they receive, at a price that is also as low as possible until the end of the decade.
The supply chain partners will deliver an extensive programme of work between now and 2020 but they will only recover head office costs and earn profit when they outperform Anglian Water's business plan.
For Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire:
Anglian Water has also introduced a new tariff to help those customers who may struggle to pay their water or sewerage bill where it accounts for a significant proportion of their disposable income.
The LITE (Low Income Tariff for Eligible Households) tariff will be independently means-assessed by Citizen's Advice Bureau (CAB) Northampton and provide a discount on eligible customer's bills according to their individual circumstances.
As well as making a recommendation to Anglian Water about someone's eligibility for the tariff, CAB Northampton will also be supporting applicants to increase their income, to reduce their water usage and to signpost or refer them to sources of local advice.