§ Mr. Oakes
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what advice he has given to water undertakers with water orders pending;118W
(2) how many applications for water orders are awaiting his decision; how many water undertakers have withdrawn their applications; how many are proceeding; and if he will list in the OFFICIAL REPORT the water undertakers concerned.
§ Mr. Graham Page
I assume that the Questions relate to applications for orders under Section 40 of the Water Act 1945 relating to water rates and charges.
Ten applications are outstanding, eight from water undertakers and two from groups of consumers. Six water undertakers have been told that, as they do not appear to intend to change their charges before 1st April 1974, from which date under the Water Bill now before Parliament the section is proposed to be repealed, the Secretary of State will formally reject their applications if the Bill reaches the statute book without amendment in any relevant particular. The six are Tees Valley and Cleveland, Higham Ferrers and Rushden, Rugby, Lune Valley, Calder and North Lindsey Water Boards.
One of the groups of consumers, whose application relates to the North West Leicestershire Water Board, has also been told that, if the Bill is enacted without amendment, any order would be nugatory.
No water undertaker has withdrawn an application in the past 12 months. Formal applications have been received within the past few days from the city of Liverpool and the Bristol Water Works Company.
The remaining application, from the second group of consumers, affects the Dorset Water Board, and is under consideration.