My wife and I retired to Eastbourne last summer, both our sons and grandchildren live here. We enjoy living near the coast and the South Downs, our only regret is the cost of water rates in East Sussex.
Our total water rates in Ruislip were £400 per annum whereas our total water rates in Eastbourne are over £1,100 per annum. Both houses have three bedrooms, one bathroom and two WCs so why the huge difference?
Well, I appreciate there is a difference in rateable value and also there are geographical reasons, however, the main reason is in East Sussex we are forced to deal with two water companies instead of just one. This means we have to bear the cost of duplication, duplication, duplication.
I have approached our MP Stephen Lloyd, he and his team have been most helpful.
I’ve spoken to OFWAT and the Consumer Council for water who said we have no choice but to pay whatever charge is set, no help there then.
Our only course of action is to go onto a water meter to try and save some money; I would like to state we weren’t metered in Ruislip.
South East Water and Southern tell me by 2017 most people in Eastbourne will be on a meter and 90 per cent of the UK will be metered by 2020.
Most people are concerned with the cost of gas and electricity but you can switch to another company, we don’t have that luxury when dealing with water companies, why not?
It would appear the cost of water services have slipped under the radar, therefore, the more people who are aware of the situation the better.
If we are forced to deal with a monopoly then why shouldn’t South East Water and Southern be forced to merge? Then we could all save money instead it’s just a question of mind over matter – the water companies don’t mind, we the paying customers don’t matter.
RONALD C BAILEY,