Barbara has welcomed the decision by water company United Utilities to call a halt to changes which have seen drainage charges soar for many community organisations in the North West.
Under the company’s new charging system, local sports clubs, churches, and community groups across the North West Region have seen big increases in their bills, with many struggling to pay their increased bills.
However, Barbara has criticised United Utilities’ decision to freeze the charges for customers at 2008/09 rates, saying this is no help for some community amateur sports clubs in Worsley Constituency.
“I welcome the decision by United Utilities to bring a halt to their increased charges for drainage, which have had a big impact on churches and small community groups.
“However, the decision to freeze drainage charges at 2008/09 rates is no help at all for those community amateur sports clubs whose rates had already suffered big increases this year. Clubs like Little Hulton Cricket Club saw their rates rise by as much as £1,000 in the 2008/09 financial year and it seems they will not benefit from the rate freeze.
“Such a massive hike in charges makes it difficult, if not impossible, for small community sports clubs to remain open especially in such a tough economic climate.
“I am campaigning to have United Utilities reverse the substantial increase in drainage costs for community amateur sports clubs under the new system, and that must include the increase in the 2008/09 financial year. I will be meeting Andy Burnham MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, next week to discuss the best way forward.”