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Water bill will leave Scouts high and dry





First Shottery Scouts hold bottles to show how much is being leaked on a daily basis from a damaged pipe – a problem Severn Trent Water seem to have washed their hands of. From left, Jacob Harrison, aged 11, Jensen Kenney, 11, Matthew Dennes, 10, Stephen Hooper, 13 and Adam Lucas, 12. The group now faces a bill of £7,000. Photo: Mark Williamson. (S59/5/16/19)
First Shottery Scouts hold bottles to show how much is being leaked on a daily basis from a damaged pipe – a problem Severn Trent Water seem to have washed their hands of. From left, Jacob Harrison, aged 11, Jensen Kenney, 11, Matthew Dennes, 10, Stephen Hooper, 13 and Adam Lucas, 12. The group now faces a bill of £7,000. Photo: Mark Williamson. (S59/5/16/19)

FIRST Shottery Scout Group are appealing to Severn Trent Water chiefs to review a £7,000 bill they have been landed with as a result of a leaking pipe.

The group faces having to use up most of their fundraising proceeds to pay for repair work because the water pipe to their headquarters off Albany Road, Stratford-upon-Avon, has been losing a litre of water per day.

Under Severn Trent contractual arrangements, the maintenance of water pipes is the responsibility of customers until such point as the pipe connects to the water meter. In most residential circumstances that responsibility extends either outside the house or to the end of a driveway depending on location.

As it currently stands the Scouts look set to have to foot the repair bill.

In the case of Shottery Scout Group they estimate the meter could be as far as 100 metres away from their headquarters and they have no idea where the leaking pipe is located on the third of an acre of land they own, worse still the pipe could be buried under an alleyway which links their building to Albany Road.

That would incur extra costs to dig the pavement up. Scout leaders confirmed there was no leak on the hut site.

Steve Rawlins, group leader, who has been with the Scout Association for 32 years, said: “We have £10,000 in our treasury which is used to pay for our annual scouting activities like summer camps and visits abroad, it’s also used for the maintenance of the Scout hut.

“We only use water for the essentials and no one is here in the week unless there’s a scheduled scout meeting. We’ll have to use our fundraising to pay for the repair work to a pipe which is leaking a litre of water each day.

“We will have to seriously fund raise now to pay the bill. Activities will not be curtailed but they will have to be scaled down.

“When we do go abroad, and we have camped in the Alps in the past, it costs on average £500 per head, those sort of camps will have to be reconsidered.

“All Scout leaders are volunteers, and we make sure they are not out of pocket when we do go abroad, so it looks as though the water bill will have a serious impact on our activities and finances from now on.

“It would be great if Severn Trent could see their way to helping us out with this.”

But a spokesperson for Severn Trent told the Herald: “We received reports of a water leak at the Scout Hut on Albany Road in Stratford in October last year.

“Our teams went out to investigate and found that the leak is located on a private supply pipe, which means it’s the customer’s responsibility to complete the repairs.

“We did offer advice to the Scout leaders at the time, and explain to them that we have to prioritise our work to fix the leaks that we’re responsible for, to make sure we keep water supply on for all of our customers.”

In its annual review for 2015 Severn Trent reported a group turnover of £1.8 billion and pre-tax profits of £300 million.

Founded in 1912, Shottery Scout Group currently has 80 members and is considered to be thriving in south Warwickshire.

Each Christmas they provide an invaluable festive card collection and delivery service for Stratford, and they play an active role in the local community helping the elderly and vulnerable.



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