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Union claims job losses to blame for leakages at Severn Trent Water

The union is calling for an investigation into leakages Credit: John Stillwell/PA Archive/PA Images

GMB, the union for water workers, is calling on Severn Trent water to be investigated following claims that 500 job cuts have led to leakages and depleted stocks.

They estimate water usage went up by 20% in the last year and claim that job losses and the introduction of a number of cost saving initiatives are behind a 'failure' to control leakages.

But Severn Trent Water, whose headquarters are in Coventry, says job losses have not affected the number of front-line staff and add that teams aim to fix leaks within 24 hours.

The restructuring of the business earlier this year didn't reduce the number of front line staff and so far this year we've had more gangs than ever working to find and fix leaks across the region. Over the last five years we've seen a ten per cent decrease in our leakage levels and our focus going forwards is to bring that level down even further and to fix as many leaks as possible within 24 hours.

"Leakage is one of a number of performance measures we report on an annual basis to OFWAT and our performance is published on our website. Prior to publication our leakage performance is subjected to rigorous assurance processes performed by a recognised external body.""Overall our water resources are in a healthy position for this time of year and we don't anticipate any supply problems over the winter."

– Severn Trent Water

Government responds to latest Birmingham City Council cuts

In response to the 900 jobs losses and cuts of £110million to Birmingham City Council's budget for 2013/2014, the Department for Communities and Local Government has issued the following statement.

"Next year's funding for councils will be announced shortly. Councils still account for a quarter of all public spending - £114bn of taxpayers money - so they must help act to reduce the inherited deficit.

"This year, while Birmingham pleads poverty, it is hoarding £112 million in reserves, getting almost £400 more per household than the national average to protect frontline services, been given a £1.5bn city deal, £22m Growing Places Funding, an Enterprise Zone and £7.5 million in New Homes Bonuses.

"The Chancellor has exempted councils from the reductions Government must make in 2013-14. This will give councils like Birmingham time to find sensible savings by transforming frontline service delivery as well as reducing fraud, procuring better and sharing back offices. In addition taking up the Government's third council tax freeze fund offer is potentially worth over £200 to their Band D residents."

– Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis
  1. Chris Halpin

Birmingham City Council slashes millions from budget with hundreds of redundancies ahead

The leader of Birmingham City Council has described the latest round of government cuts to its budget as "the end of the local authority as we know it".

Sir Albert Bore today confirmed that hundreds more people are losing their jobs, to help save hundreds of millions of pounds over the next four years. Chris Halpin reports.