29 October 1999

Groundwater bills too high – Welsh

THE Government is being grossly insensitive about Groundwater Regulation charges, claimed the Farmers Union of Wales (FUW).

Rhian Nowell-Phillips, FUW land use officer, said members were "absolutely disgusted" after being billed £107.33 each for annual subsistence charges.

"The FUW has always maintained that this annual fee cannot be justified and to send out bills at a time of great uncertainty in farming is a sign of gross insensitivity," she said. "It adds insult to injury."

The bills were sent out by the Environmental Agency on behalf of the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions.

Ms Nowell-Phillips said the union would continue to campaign for the annual fee to be scrapped, having accepted a one-off charge to establish the Groundwater Regulations.