To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions (a) he and (b) Ofwat officials have had on Severn Trent plc's decisions to (i) charge for surface water drainage according to site area and (ii) withdraw exceptions for schools, hospitals, community buildings and churches.
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has not discussed the specific issue of surface water drainage charging in the Severn Trent region with either Ofwat or Severn Trent Water. However, there have been other more general discussions with Ofwat, during which the issue of site area-based surface water drainage charging, and rebates of charges, were considered.
Ofwat meets with water and sewerage companies annually to discuss their charges for the coming year. Ofwat has discussed area-based charging for surface water drainage for non-household customers with Severn Trent Water extensively since it was introduced for all customers in 2000-01.
During 2007, Ofwat and Severn Trent Water discussed withdrawing the current exemptions from surface water drainage charges relating to religious and community buildings (including schools and hospitals).