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Crawley traders, what do you think of new proposal to charge over 5p a day per cover outside your business on public paths?

Traders are being asked by West Sussex County Council what they think of new proposals for the licensing of tables and chairs on the pavement outside their businesses.

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Following feedback on the current flat fee of £520, a consultation on sliding-scale proposals, with charges dependent on the number of covers, went live today.

Roger Elkins, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said:

“We have listened to people’s comments about the current flat fee. Most suggested that a sliding-scale approach would be preferable so smaller establishments would pay less compared to businesses which want to place a larger number of covers on the pavement.

“We now propose a one-off, £150 initial application fee. Then the proposed charge would be £20 per cover (a cover is usually a single chair) per annum, which equates to just over 5p per day, per cover.

We would really appreciate traders taking the time and trouble to visit our online consultation page www.westsussex.gov.uk/tablesandchairs2020 and let us know what they think of the proposals.”

The sliding scale encourages businesses with a larger number of covers to carefully consider how many covers they are likely to fill on a regular basis – or face paying a premium for empty chairs, which can obscure nearby smaller premises, obstruct the highway and provide an unnecessary obstacle for the visually impaired.

The consultation runs until 24 February 2020.

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Average families water & waste bill in Crawley to fall by almost £50 this year

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Southern Water Bill

The dramatic drop in the bill from Southern Water comes mainly as a result of a fall in price for the wasterwater element of the bills.

The drop of an average 11.2 per cent for 2020-21 is for the combined bill of water and wasterwater treatment services.

A typical combined bill for a domestic customer is expected to be £391 compared with an average charge of £440 last year – meaning a day’s services will cost only £1.07 a day – less than most bus fares. The cost is 13p a day or £49 a year less than last year.

The water element of bills is almost flat – the expected average is £159 compared with £156 in 2019-20. Wastewater bills will fall by an average £52 including a rebate of around £20 attributable to the company’s final settlement with Ofwat.

The big drop in bills comes at the start of a sustained fall in combined bills. Between 2020 and 2025 bills will fall by 18.4 per cent (adjusted for inflation). By 2025 the average household bill for water and wastewater will be just £343 a year. Water bills will fall 8 per cent during that time while wastewater bills will fall 24 per cent.

Southerwater say this is the start of a new ear with Ian McAulay, Southern Water chief executive adding:

“Water is essential to every aspect of our lives but it is under increasing pressure from population growth and climate change. So water companies have got to work even harder to face these challenges and keep it flowing far into the future whilst delivering the services our customers want and deserve.

Our customers have said they want us to do more to protect the environment and increase biodiversity, that’s why over the next 5 years our ‘Water for Life’ business plan will invest £4 billion into our region, generating jobs and protecting the environment whilst ensuring we keep bills affordable and support those in need.”

Southern Water has currently three key investments being worked on which include a £27.5 million five year phase of the Bathing Water Enhancement Programme which they say has helped to raise 58 out of the region’s 83 bathing waters to the “Excellent” standard.

They are also commissioning £100 million investment in rebuilding the Woolston wastewater treatment works and constructing a £15 million Chichester pipeline to support growth in the region.

Rachel Ryan-Crisp, Southern Water’s Vulnerability Lead, says:

“There are many people out there that don’t even know that these services exist and for an array of reasons whether they struggle to pay or require more support from their supplier. We can assist and offer extra care to a range of people such as those living with long-term illness, disability, the elderly and even new parent or parents with young children. Help us to help you by getting in touch for advice or by spreading the word to friends and family who could benefit.”

More details about our tariff schemes can be found here https://www.southernwater.co.uk/account/help-paying-your-bill

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