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20 December 2006

Stevenson Tackles Scottish Water Over Incorrect Meter Readings

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson today met with Scottish Water chiefs in the Scottish Parliament.

Water chiefs were summoned to Holyrood by Mr Stevenson following recent instances in Peterhead where businesses received bills far in excess of their quarterly average due to meter reading errors.

Officials from Waterwatch Scotland – the water industry watchdog – were also in attendance.

Speaking from the Scottish Parliament after the meeting, Mr Stevenson said:

“This has been a hugely worrying issue for the businesses affected, some of whom have received quite substantial bills.

“It is now clear that Scottish Water, and their meter-reading contractor, Yorkshire-based H2O Water Services – failed in their duty of care to their customers quite spectacularly. Disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against one member of staff and another has left the employment of H2O.

“Incredibly, after all this time and investigation, Scottish Water are still unable to say whether the meters in question were read incorrectly or not read at all. I received an update on the procedures which have now been tightened up and the lessons learned from this episode.

“I re-emphasised to Scottish Water that on no account must any business or individual be disadvantaged as a result of this failure. I have therefore asked Scottish Water to investigate the terms of their contract with H2O to see what action may be taken against that company. There are also several aspects of this case which I will be pursuing with the Ombudsman body, Waterwatch Scotland.”

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