§ Sir Michael Spicer
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether it is her policy that the Water Service regulator, in determining the charges that water companies can make to their customers, should take account of the need for these companies to rectify flooding problems which do not necessarily involve direct ingress of water or sewage into people's homes. 
§ Mr. Morley
In setting price limits for sewerage undertakers, the Director General of Water Services takes account of companies' sewer flooding programmes. In the initial Guidance issued to the Director General in January 2003, the Secretary of786W State, made clear that there would need to be an increase in the rate at which companies rectify sewer flooding problems if companies are to get on top of the situation.
The Secretary of State also welcomed the findings of the consultation carried out by Ofwat in the paper, "Flooding from Sewers", particularly the proposal that the worst cases of external sewer flooding should be included in sewerage undertakers' programmes. This should help to ensure that many more customers than at present benefit from sewer flooding prevention schemes.