What's it about?

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It grew out of the findings of the Walker Review into affordability and charges in the water industry in 2009. This highlighted the historically high level of charges in the South West and in particular recognised the 'unfairness' of three per cent of the population of England and Wales paying for the clean-up of a third of all the country's bathing waters.

Government pledge for action

In 2011, the former Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Chancellor all pledged action to tackle the unfairness and special legislation was passed through Parliament in Spring 2012, giving South West Water up to £40 million annually to reduce household bills by £50 from 2013.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron told the Western Morning News: "I understand the unfairness that people feel in the South West that they are paying a lot of money so that there are clean beaches for people like me from Oxfordshire to come and play on."

Agreement signed

An agreement on implementing the reduction was signed by South West Water and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in November 2012. None of the money will be retained by South West Water, it will all be passed onto qualifying customers.

The Walker Review 2009:

News and reports:

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