Water bill headache for charity

A Great Yarmouth charity shop is facing a water bill for more than �3,500 which staff say cannot be theirs.

The DIAL charity shop moved into premises in Broad Row in 2008 and received a water bill for about �70 in November 2010, which was paid.

It has since received a water bill for �1791.30 from Essex and Suffolk Water and another bill for �1759.23 from Anglian Water for sewerage. The bills are for a period from August 2008 until January 30 this year.

Jo Howes, project manager for DIAL Great Yarmouth, said: 'We have one sink and one toilet and the charity shop is only open four hours a day. It cannot be possible. It is incredible. My bill at home is nowhere near that.'

Mrs Howes thinks the issue has arisen because the water meter in the street supplies four, possibly five other premises including Radio Norfolk's studio in the town.


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'This is an ongoing saga,' she said. 'We took over the charity shop in Broad Row in 2008 and in November 2010 we received a water bill for about �70 odd pounds which we paid. Then suddenly we got a huge great bill last January.

'I rang up and said 'where has this come from?' It transpires it goes back to 2008 because the water meter supplies four, possibly five other premises and one is Radio Norfolk.

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'Our landlord owns three of the other flats above us and our shop and has been trying to sort it out. Radio Norfolk's premises are owned by a different landlord.

'We have been trying to resolve this since we got the big bill last January but we do not seem to be getting anywhere.'

DIAL Great Yarmouth provides an advice and information service for disabled people and carers within the borough and Mrs Howes said the issue could have a serious effect on the charity.

'We are more than happy to pay our dues and demands,' she said.

'We are a small charity shop providing a service to the people of Great Yarmouth and we cannot afford a big bill like this.

'Obviously we cannot afford for Anglian Water to take us to court because having adverse credit information against us could affect our funding bids when we apply for funds in the future.'

An Essex and Suffolk Water spokeswoman said: 'This is a complicated ownership issue and we've put the account on hold while the issue is being investigated.'

An Anglian Water spokeswoman said: 'For sewerage we take the water reading provided by Essex and Suffolk Water. We are aware of the situation and we are monitoring.'

A BBC spokesman said: 'As this is currently being investigated and we're not sure what the exact situation is, it wouldn't be appropriate to comment at this time.'

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