LETTER: South East Water explains Water Aid

I am writing in response to the Letter to the Editor – What about donating cash?(July 18) where Mr MacNeill asked why we include the WaterAid leaflet with our water bill and suggesting South East Water donates money itself.

WaterAid is a charity that is extremely close to the heart of South East Water and our staff. Initially set up by the UK water industry over 30 years ago, we have continued to strongly support this charity and during 2013/14 alone staff raised almost £33,000 for its projects in the developing world by undertaking cycling and running challenges as well as speaking at community groups.

As part of our efforts we try to give WaterAid further support by including its brochure in with our bill mailings to help reduce the charity’s print and mail costs.

South East Water does all it can to promote the good work of this charity among its staff and customers as we care about the impact of water quality and feel this is an appropriate charity for us to support. Of course our customers are left to make their own mind up about whether to donate or not.

Being a business that operates so closely within our own communities, we also have our Community Chest Fund that donates annually to community projects in the South East of England to make a difference closer to home too.

Mr MacNeill also raised concerns within the letter about the cost of water. Our average annual bill for per household for 2014/15 is £201.

For this customers receive top quality, safe drinking water every day, which has been extracted from deep underground, or collected from a reservoir or river, pumped to a specialist water treatment works where it is cleaned and made safe to drink before being transported, sometimes for miles direct to our customers taps within their home.

We believe at an average of just 55 pence a day – half the price of the average loaf of bread – this is good value for money. For any customer who has concerns about the cost of their bill there are a number of schemes available to help if you are struggling to pay so do get in touch with us so we can help advise what’s best for you.

Jo Stimpson

Finance Director, South East Water.