'I'm sick of being bled dry,' says Lib Dem

PUBLISHED: 13:13 26 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:13 15 June 2010

AN Axmouth man, who aspires to be a Lib Dem MP, has likened South West Water to 'gangsters' for their planned increase to water charges in the area.

AN Axmouth man, who aspires to be a Lib Dem MP, has likened South West Water to 'gangsters' for their planned increase to water charges in the area.Parliamentary spokesman Dr Jon Underwood said the company's intended rise would be a staggering 40 per cent above inflation for those without a water meter.He said: "The regulator is completely toothless and the government doesn't care. The water companies are like gangsters - even the authorities seem to be afraid of them."Like many local people, I am absolutely sick of being bled dry year after year after year."A new petition on his website www.jon4tivandhon.org.uk/dontbleedmedry aims to gather signatures to protest against this latest threat of extortion.SWW has submitted its draft business plan for 2010 to 2015 to the industry regulator, Ofwat, showing unmetered customers could see a rise which brings their annual bill to £951.Metered customers would see a 12 per cent rise, with the average bill going up to £421.SWW said it aimed to balance the needs of the customers, environment, government and investors.SWW chief executive Chris Loughlin said: "In response to what our customers told us, we have put forward a plan with prices as low as possible in each year and no sudden price shocks."This plan does not propose a major infrastructure investment such as we have seen in the past 18 years, with nearly £2 billion invested in putting in place often first-time sewage treatment for communities all round the South West peninsula."He said as a result of the investment tap water was nearly perfect and that they planned to introduce efficiency savings of £20 million.

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