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Boil water notice lifted for more homes in Lancashire

Credit: PA

A further 86,000 homes in Lancashire have been told they no longer need to boil water after an outbreak of a parasitic bug.

United Utilities lifted restrictions in Chorley, Preston and South Ribble following work to remove the cryptosporidium bug.

On Thursday, the notice was lifted for 80,000 homes in the region.

Some schools have been warned the notice may still be in place when pupils return from the summer holidays.

United Utilities said it has arranged for 174 schools to be supplied with bottled water while the notice is still in effect.


'Over 120,000 complaints' made to water firms in a year

120,000 complaints made to water firms in a year Credit: PA

Customers made more than 120,000 complaints to water firms in a year, a new report reveals.

The total of 123,218 written complaints received by companies between April 1 2013 and March 31 this year is the equivalent of more than 300 every day.

More than half were about billing and charges matters, the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) said.

However, the total complaints tally fell by 18% compared to 2012/13.

Labour reveal plans for crackdown on water firms

Labour will bring in a new deal for water companies that avoid corporation tax on their profits the new shadow Environment Secretary has said.

Maria Eagle said it should be compulsory for firms to offer lower bills for poorer households in a national affordability scheme and revealed she would be investigating whether Ofwat has enough powers to deal with water firms, in an interview with the Yorkshire Post newspaper.

The cost of living has been heavily debated in recent months. Credit: PA Wire

Ms Eagle claimed water firms were spending too much effort on engineering their finances to avoid paying tax on their profits, and not enough time on helping customers struggling to pay their bills.

"I think we've got to look at having a new deal with the water companies. I will be developing this over the next period of time. It's got to have something to say about tax - you routinely have them avoiding corporation tax on the profits they generate."

Labour leader Ed Miliband has been focusing on the cost of living and last month called for an energy bill freeze.


Ofwat: Thames' extra bill increase was not justified

Water regulator Ofwat has rejected a bid by Thames Water for an additional price hike for 2014 to 2015 of 8%.

We said we would challenge Thames' application, in the interests of customers. We did just that and on the evidence provided we are not convinced that an extra bill increase is justified.

– Ofwat's chief regulation officer Sonia Brown

Ofwat rejects Thames Water's bid for 8% bill rise

Water regulator Ofwat has turned down Thames Water's application for an additional price increase for 2014 to 2015.

The water regulator Ofwat has ruled Thames Water's price hike must remain at 1.4% above inflation. Credit: Press Association

Ofwat says it was for Thames Water to justify the proposed 8% increase was in customers’ interests.

Within the three month timescale for assessing the application, the water regulator found the evidence the company submitted did not justify its proposed £29 additional increase in customers' bills.

Ofwat’s decision means the maximum that Thames can add to customers’ bills for 2014-15 is still 1.4% above inflation, as set in the 2009 price review.

Miliband pledges new social tariffs in water industry

Ed Miliband has pledged to introduce new social tariffs in the water industry in a bid to drive down living costs.

Speaking in Battersea, Mr Miliband attacked the Government on the issue of the cost of living crisis and vowed to "stand up for markets that work for working people".

Ed Miliband addresses an audience at Battersea power station this morning.

Mr Miliband said the water industry should be "scrutinised to make sure it is working properly", during an interview with the Evening Standard last week.

The water industry is the latest sector to be scrutinised by the Labour leader after he promised to freeze gas and electricity bills until 2017 if his party won the next general election.

Labour: 'Something really wrong' with energy market

"Something has gone really wrong" in the UK energy market and Parliament has to "tackle that", the shadow energy secretary told Daybreak.

Labour's Caroline Flint said a 46% drop in the wholesale price which was not passed onto customers when her party were in charge, but warned bills were getting worse under the coalition government.

"Prices are going up three times as fast under this Government than they were under us and we need to tackle that."

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