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  • FIRST POST
    • NeilsP
    • By NeilsP 15th Jan 20, 10:04 PM
    • 4Posts
    • 0Thanks
    NeilsP
    Council Sewage charge payment cap removal
    • #1
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:04 PM
    Council Sewage charge payment cap removal 15th Jan 20 at 10:04 PM
    Dear Money Saving Expert

    Iím hoping very much that you can give me some advice please on the current situation myself and other residents find ourselves in.

    We are a small hamlet with 38 houses connected to a private sewage treatment plant operated by our local council. Since we have lived here since 1996 the cost for running the service has been split equally annually between the 38 houses and capped to £242 per property. Last year we were informed by the council that they had done a review and the cap was being removed and a staged increase in charges implemented with surplus funds to go towards future maintenance costs of the plant. This we were all up in arms over at the steep phasing in of increased charges and the cap removal and many questions were asked. Strangely they came back to us again after doing another review! Which resulted in reducing the charges slightly. Iím not convinced they did a proper review in the first place to be honest.

    One of the main and important questions was for them to provide documentation as to why the cap was originally put in place, the reply was:

    ĎThere is no documentation in regard to the previous capped fee of £242. This was a decision made by a previous finance portfolio holder and as such did not require committee approvalí.

    This I find very hard to believe. Firstly Iím not sure it is legal and secondly how they know this as there is no documentation and yet a decision that happened over 20 years ago or so can be remembered.

    My questions are:

    Is the Council required to produce written evidence of the decision made by a previous finance portfolio holder, which I assume must have been recorded in a meeting?

    If there is no documentation of why the cap was originally put in place, can they remove it? Surely if no one knows why the cap was put in place then it canít be removed? For all we know the cap was put in place in perpetuity.

    Thank you in advance
Page 1
    • ic
    • By ic 15th Jan 20, 10:47 PM
    • 2,711 Posts
    • 1,377 Thanks
    ic
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:47 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Jan 20, 10:47 PM
    What is the increase that will be applied?
    * my posts are made in good faith and only represent my own opinion, experience or understanding of a situation.
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 16th Jan 20, 9:27 AM
    • 30,174 Posts
    • 103,696 Thanks
    Davesnave
    • #3
    • 16th Jan 20, 9:27 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Jan 20, 9:27 AM
    Were you expecting ever-reducing sewerage treatment bills due to the effect of inflation over time, or do you pay other charges over and above this one for drainage?
    You have been warned!
    • NeilsP
    • By NeilsP 16th Jan 20, 11:07 AM
    • 4 Posts
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    NeilsP
    • #4
    • 16th Jan 20, 11:07 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Jan 20, 11:07 AM
    2019/20 - £245.
    2020/21 - £248.
    2021/22 - £342.
    2022/23 - £355.
    2023/24 - £368.

    That's as many years that we have been given.
    It's the actual cap removal that most concerns me.

    Thanks
    • NeilsP
    • By NeilsP 16th Jan 20, 11:58 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    NeilsP
    • #5
    • 16th Jan 20, 11:58 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Jan 20, 11:58 AM
    We know charges increase over time. The point i'm trying to get to the bottom of, is that our charges have always been capped to £242. If no documentation is held by the council regarding the cap, can they remove it?

    Regarding other drainage costs, we do not pay any.

    Thanks
    • mrschaucer
    • By mrschaucer 16th Jan 20, 12:11 PM
    • 683 Posts
    • 906 Thanks
    mrschaucer
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:11 PM
    • #6
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:11 PM
    Does anybody have any written info regarding these charges from when they bought their houses?
    • NeilsP
    • By NeilsP 16th Jan 20, 12:38 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    NeilsP
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:38 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Jan 20, 12:38 PM
    No not as far as we know. We have done as much research as we can with the residents and have found no written evidence. The furthest back we have bills for is 10 year's or so. The cap was probably put in place over 20 year's ago.
    • ciderboy2009
    • By ciderboy2009 16th Jan 20, 1:15 PM
    • 642 Posts
    • 625 Thanks
    ciderboy2009
    • #8
    • 16th Jan 20, 1:15 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Jan 20, 1:15 PM
    So you don't have any information on why the cap was applied or the conditions relating to it?

    Without that you've got no way of proving that it should stil apply.
    • Nick_C
    • By Nick_C 16th Jan 20, 2:42 PM
    • 5,819 Posts
    • 9,890 Thanks
    Nick_C
    • #9
    • 16th Jan 20, 2:42 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Jan 20, 2:42 PM
    You've been lucky getting a subsidised service until now. Most of us pay a charge that covers the cost of treating our sewage, plus a profit margin for the private company providing the service.

    We are a 2 person household. Our sewage costs are £162 a year.

    Unfortunately, infrastructure that only serves 38 houses will be expensive as you don't have economies of scale. But I don't see why other council taxpayers should be subsidising you.
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