Following a campaign by Barbara, United Utilities has now called a halt to the changes which saw drainage charges soar for many community organisations in the North West.
Under the new charging system first put forward by the company local sports clubs, churches and community groups across the North West Region saw big increases in their bills, with many struggling to pay their increased bills.
United Utilities recently said they would freeze the charges at 2008/09 rates, which meant some community amateur sports clubs and churches in Worsley Constituency would still have to pay big increases. Barbara Keeley and other North West MPs took their campaign to Ministers and the Manchester Evening News published articles about the impact the charges were causing. Now, United Utilities have backed down further and are going back to the lower rates they were charging community organisations and churches in 2007/8.
"United Utilities has caused real problems this year to community sports clubs and churches in my constituency by bringing in big increases to the charges they had to pay for drainage.Now, thanks to articles on this in the Manchester Evening News and my campaign locally and nationally, United Utilities have reversed their decision and are going back to the lower charging rates.
"This temporary halt to the increased charges is very welcome and I am sure sports clubs like Little Hulton Cricket club will welcome the fact that they don't have to find an extra £1,000 for water charges this year.
"However, there is still a threat that United Utilities will try to bring the charges in again in 2010/11 and I will continue to campaign against United Utilities imposing an unfair charging system which would threaten the ability of sports clubs and churches to continue in our communities."