‘Cut bills’ plea over firm’s £663m profit
CONCERNED residents in Peterborough have today called on Anglian Water to use its multi-million pound profits to cut bills.
The outburst comes after it was revealed that Anglian Water’s £663 million profit last year was the fifth largest among the country’s 100 fastest growing firms.
The figures, which have been revealed by the Sunday Times in its Deloitte Top Track 100, have brought demands from residents and campaign groups for a cut in household bills.
But the water giant has defended its profits and says that major investment is underway to improve sewerage systems and supply net- works. It also says it aims to reduce average water bills by £28 over the next five years, which it will achieve through its Pay as you Flow plan to install free meters in thousands of city homes.
Spokeswoman for Peterborough Pensioners’ Association Mary Cooke said: “I think they could do more for customers given how much profit the company has made. The problem is that, while water meters are suitable for some people, they are not suitable for everyone. For example, a family with a few children would be forced to closely watch how much water they use and that is not the best way for them.”
Tony Frobisher (37), of Oundle Road, Peterborough, said: “I know they are in the business to make money, but they should help the customers a bit more with lower bills. Our bills have gone up recently and there are always problems with burst mains.”
Meri Hyde (32), of Southfields, Stanground added: “We have been told we can’t have a meter at the moment, but sometimes they are more expensive anyway. Bills should be cut for everyone.”
Andrew Mackintosh, spokesman for Anglian Water, said: “Pay as you Flow would over the next five years reduce the average bill by £28. Over the last two years we have invested £50 million into the resilience strategy, which means that the system is now fully prepared for major events, such as floods.”
The Consumer Council For Water have been campaigning for better prices and services for residents. Dame Yve Buckland, chairman of the council said: “We will be pressing the companies and Ofwat to make sure that the next five years deliver a consumer focused package of benefits, at a price customers are willing to pay.”
A spokesman for regulator Ofwat said: “Profits are necessary to allow investment to maintain and improve services. Our job is to protect consumers, and make sure monopoly companies deliver safe, reliable supplies at a fair price. We will continue to monitor companies to make sure they do that.”