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COSLA RAISES WATER CONCERNS WITH MINISTER

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COSLA today called for a water rebate scheme that benefits those ...
COSLA today called for a water rebate scheme that benefits those

in most need and not something that merely pays lip service to the problem.

COSLA also criticised Ross Finnie, minister for environment and rural

development, for postponing and cancelling several previous meetings to

discuss the issue.

In a letter to the minister today COSLA's finance spokesperson Andy White

raises fundamental concerns that COSLA has in relation to water and sewerage

charges.

The move follows Friday's leaders meeting at which it was decided to write

to the minister to seek another meeting in order that areas of concern can

be explored.

Describing the executive's proposals as flawed, Andy White

explains: 'COSLA does not accept the executive's way forward on the whole

area of water sewerage charges as outlined in their consultation paper

'Short Term Billing and Collecting.'

'Our concerns surround three main issues. Firstly and most importantly, we

would like to see a water rebate scheme that benefits those in most need of

help and not something that merely pays lip service to the problem. The

Executive's proposals are plainly not of benefit to those in low-income

households. COSLA would like to see people who are on lower incomes, living

in properties in the lower council tax bands benefiting.'

'Secondly there is the issue about the future of billing and collection of

water and sewerage charges which has been the subject of a consultation for

future arrangements.

'Our third concern and something that we see as an issue for discussion is

the harmonisation of domestic water and sewerage charges across Scotland as

the three existing water authorities move to one.'

Cllr White continued: 'I have clearly outlined COSLA's concerns to

the minister and I hope to meet with him as soon as possible to discuss

things further. However previous meetings to discuss the issue with us have

been postponed and cancelled on several occasions. I can only hope that

this request for a meeting does not meet a similar fate.'

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