Church water bills

There has been quite a furore about a change in water-drainage charging which affects churches, other faith communities, community halls and the like in the UK. In some areas, churches and community-halls have faced increases in charges amounting to 1300%. The recent General Synod of the Church of England also debated the issue, passing the following motion unanimously (which I think is a first in my experience):

‘That this Synod, concerned about the effect on many parishes of sudden,massive rises in water charges for churches, request HM Government to remind OFWAT of its obligations to ensure that the water companies adhere to the clear guidance given by the Secretary of State for the Environment in 2000, which states that “there are many non-household users who are not businesses … including places of worship … and it would be inappropriate to charge all non-household customers as if they were businesses”.’

I signed the e-petition on the 10 Downing Street website some time ago. Today we received the government’s response to the issue which is moderately encouraging, indicating something of a stop-gap position and some pressure being exerted on those water companies who are acting in a fairly merciless manner. They (and Ofwat) are taking a dim view of the proceedings.  You can read the government’s response here.

Share Button

One reply on “Church water bills”

  1. I get cross because the reason given for the charge is for the management of runoff from the properties into the drainage systems. That’s a joke: for church yards such as the one I’m most ‘in touch’ with, the church yard is actually a sink for runoff which goes direct into the river once its done all sorts of interesting and ecologically versatile things on the way as well as collecting some of the runoff from some neighbouring properties which the water authority don’t have to manage, therefore. They should be paying the PCC not vice versa!

    If anything it’s an argument for charging more to properties that pave over their gardens.

Comments are closed.