to be hit with large increases in water and sewerage charges.
Cosla pointed out to the minister that their definition of a harmonisation
The executive's approach means that households in the East and West of
Scotland are facing increases of up to 29 per cent.
At yesterday's meeting Cosla's finance spokesperson John Pentland raised a
number of fundamental concerns that Cosla has in relation to water and
Describing the executive's approach as insensitive, cllr Pentland
explains: 'Cosla has major concerns about the executive's way forward on
water and sewerage charges.
'Our concerns relate to a number of issues. Firstly our definition of
harmonisation is not putting up bills to the highest possible level.
'Secondly, Cosla has long advocated for a water rebate scheme that benefits
those in most need of help and not something that merely pays lip service to
the problem. The present scheme does not benefit those in low-income
'Yesterday saw the minister announce a massive increase in water charges
over the next few years. Cosla has major concerns that due to the
inadequate relief arrangements this will seriously impact on those people on
He continued: 'Cosla wants to see people who are on lower incomes, living
in properties in the lower council tax bands benefiting from a more
effective relief system.'
'Our third major concern is the issue about the future of billing and
collection of water and sewerage charges this needs early discussion and
Cllr Pentland concluded: 'I clearly outlined Cosla's concerns to the
Minister and as a result of these concerns both sides have agreed to set up
a working group to consider short and long term issues.'