Cash-strapped South Yorkshire families face water bill increase

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HOUSEHOLDS face another increase in their utility bills - with both Yorkshire Water and Severn Trent announcing price rises from April 1.

Yorkshire Water, which covers most of South Yorkshire, is putting up annual bills by an average of £12, or £1 per month.

Meanwhile, Severn Trent Water, which covers south east Sheffield, north Derbyshire and north Nottinghamshire, is increasing its charges by £7 for the coming year.

Both companies say their increases are below the national average but will help to fund ‘substantial’ investment.

Stephen Rich, of Greenhill and Bradway Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said: “It’s yet another bill going up along with everything else but there is not a lot you can do about it.

“The infrastructure is pretty old, many of the pipes are still Victorian, so improvements are necessary.”

Regina Finn, chief executive of watchdog, Ofwat, said: “We understand that there is huge pressure on household incomes, and any rise is unwelcome. Inflation is driving these increases.”

Yorkshire Water said increased charges will help to fund investment including a £78 million upgrade of Blackburn Meadows sewage works and £20 million replacement of old water pipes in Sheffield, Barnsley and Rotherham.

Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water’s chief executive, said: “We know that things are really tough out there, with a lot of people really feeling the pinch, which is why it’s so important that essential service providers like ourselves explain exactly why price increases are necessary.

Severn Trent said its customers ‘will continue to have the lowest average combined household water bills in England and Wales over the coming year’.