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United Utilities owes Kingsmead a refund
RESIDENTS in Kingsmead say they are owed more than £1million from United Utilities after years of paying for services the water giant has not provided.
The company has been charging households for taking away rainwater since Kingsmead was built around 18 years ago, despite all surface water running to a filtration unit it did not own.
Bill Simpson, a former parish councillor who has lived in Kingsmead for 17 years, said: “What we were concerned about as a parish council is that we were all being charged for processing surface water using a system and infrastructure that United Utilities did not own.
“Kingsmead residents have been charged, according to my calculations, something in excess of £1million.”
Bill was chairman of Kingsmead Parish Council when it was discovered that United Utilities had not adopted the filtration unit.
United Utilities admitted liability to the council in June, agreeing that it should not have been charging residents for the removal of surface water before October 24, 2013, when it finally adopted the unit.
A spokesman for United Utilities said: "We are aware of the historical issues relating to charging for surface water drainage on the Kingsmead estate and are in the process of reimbursing customers.
“The Parish Council has been updated on this issue and we have been working with them on the planned resolution, which includes refunds for customers affected.
"We have written to customers this week to let them know the latest situation and to invite them to a planned drop-in session we'll be holding to answer any questions they have.
“Customers don’t need to do anything to receive this refund – we will be sending this to our customers in the coming weeks.”
But Bill, who estimates he has paid more than £1,000 in surface water charges, said it is not enough.
“The amount of money they’re proposing to pay out amounts to less than the interest they’ve earned on the money they’ve taken,” he said.
“I’ve been offered £220 and I don’t think this is on.”
• The United Utilities bus will be at Sir John Deane’s College tonight and tomorrow from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.
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