Sunak flags hosepipe ban compensation as Truss says more ‘needs to be done’

Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak wants to explore introducing compensation if a hose ban is a direct result of water company failures.

The former Chancellor told The Daily Telegraph he would consider introducing the measure, with hose bans taking effect in parts of England as months of drought pushes the country towards drought.

“It’s unacceptable for water companies to impose restrictions on their customers when they can’t contain leaks,” he said.

“We need tougher fines for the companies that don’t invest enough to stop water wastage.”

South East Water became the second water company to restrict the use of hoses and sprinklers with a ban in Kent and Sussex from Friday 12 August until further notice.

Southern Water last week announced the first hosepipe ban of the year for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight from this Friday.

Mr Sunak’s rival Liz Truss, meanwhile, said such bans should not happen.


Ms. Truss will consider how best to utilize the water regulator when she becomes PM (Henry Nicholls/PA)

A spokesperson for her campaign told the Telegraph: “We shouldn’t be able to impose hose bans.

“More needs to be done to ensure water companies fix leaks and litter in their networks.

“As Prime Minister, Liz would consider how Ofwat could best hold water companies with the worst track records accountable, so that hard-working people across the country are not restricted in their water use during the summer months.”

The spokesman said Ms Truss believes desalination could help secure water supplies in the future, adding that communities would have the final say on planning approval.


(PA graphic)

The steps to curb water use come after England experienced its driest eight months from November 2021 to July since 1976, when much of the country struggled with extreme drought.

Last month saw a record-breaking heatwave and the driest July on record for south-east and south-central England from 1836.

For England as a whole, last month was the driest since 1935, Met Office figures show.

The country could suffer from a drought this month if dry conditions continue, the Environment Agency has warned. Sunak flags hosepipe ban compensation as Truss says more ‘needs to be done’

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