Allotment water meter to be installed
A water meter is to be installed at allotments in Tweedmouth to avoid a massive increase in charges from Northumbrian Water.
Until now, the water supply at Blakewell Gardens has been charged for on a rateable value basis at an annual cost of £95
Northumbrian Water is now moving away from this charging regime for non-domestic premises to an assessed charge where no water meter is installed.
The Blakewell Garden site, which has three plots, has been assessed as being in Band 3, which will result in an annual charge of £632.15.
The increase will be phased in over two years, resulting in a 2016-17 charge of £365.33 followed by a charge of £632.15 for 2017-18 and subsequent years.
“We either get a meter installed or the costs will rise,” Councillor Paul Hodgson told members of Berwick Town Council’s finance and resources committee on Monday.
Councillor Gordon McLean proposed that a water meter be installed.
He said: “It seems clear to me that we need to get a water meter installed but check first to make sure it can be removed at a later stage if it proves expensive or not successful.”
Councillor Ivor Dixon added: “I agree with Councillor McLean but we need to make sure we can change it in six months’ time if needed.”
The council is also responsible for four allotment plots at the Five Arches.
It had asked Northumbrian Water to investigate why the water supply at Five Arches field has stopped. The feeling was that it may be linked to the closure of the neighbouring Seton Hall care home.
However, Northumbrian Water told clerk Wendy Pattison that it has no record of the Five Arches site so cannot charge for it.