Meeting of the Parliament on Wednesday 19 April 2017 - Water Charges (Business Centres)

John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP):

To ask the Scottish Government what the impact is of water charges on smaller organisations that operate in business centres in which they do not have their own water supply but share kitchens and toilets. (S5O-00860).

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (Roseanna Cunningham):

All businesses in Scotland that are connected to the public supply are liable for water and sewerage charges. Where a property is part of a much larger building that is connected to public water and/or sewerage, it may be liable for charges if it has access to services in the common parts of the building.

Roseanna Cunningham has failed to answer the question, and has simply quoted from a script that was probably written by the administration. This broken record has been heard before on many occasions.

John Mason:

There are a number of businesses in my constituency that are really struggling with heavy business rates, specifically from Business Stream. They seem to be trapped, because they are not allowed to switch to another supplier while they have arrears with Business Stream and their landlords are reluctant to install a meter that would show how little water is being used. Can the cabinet secretary suggest a way out of the situation?

Roseanna Cunningham:

It is important for all customers to pay their fair share for services received and, at the moment, there are no plans to offer alternative charging arrangements for the situation that the member described. Business Stream works hard to ensure that it takes as much account as possible of the
individual circumstances that customers face. If there are businesses with very individual issues, I recommend that the member takes those issues up directly with Business Stream if he has not already done so, or writes to me about individual circumstances.

Again Roseanna Cunningham has failed to answer the question, and has simply yet again quoted from a script that was probably written by the administration.

The answer is simple, and is to be found elsewhere on this web site. It is:

  • Scottish Water classify Landlord's Facilities as Eligible Premises - which they are per Section 27 of the 2005 Act,
  • Scottish Water install a Water Meter, and raise charges to the Landlord's account,
  • The Landlord charges the tenants proportionately - adding the charge to other charges,
  • Scottish Water cease charging tenants whose premises are NOT Eligible Premises under Section 27 of the 2005 Act

The BIG Question is why Roseanna Cunningham did not know the answer. What she has spouted is worthless, and could not be repeated in a Court of Law [which as an ex lawyer she ought to know.]

The above extract is taken verbatim from the draft published proceedings which were downloaded in pdf format on 12th May 2017. The words in red are added comments.