UPDATE: ‘No bans or summer price rise’ pledges by Anglian Water, and Essex and Suffolk Water

Anglian Water (AW) has pledged that there will be no restrictions or bans in the East of England this year, despite the worst winter since records began, followed by the driest March and April for more than 60 years.

The firm, which has more than six million customers, also says that it has no plans to introduce a seasonal tariff, with higher summer charges to deter unnecessary water use in dry spells.

And AW's assurances are echoed by Essex and Suffolk Water, which supplies about 300,000 customers in the Southwold, Lowestoft and Yarmouth areas.

AW's managing director Peter Simpson has written to the region's MPs to reassure them that there will be no restrictions, and says the company's reservoirs are around 90pc full.

Mr Simpson said extra work to deal with the high number of pipe leaks and bursts during December's freeze had played a big part in helping the firm cope with the very dry spring.

Essex and Suffolk spokeswoman Sarah Pinkerton said they were keeping a close eye on developments but at present supplies were bearing up and restrictions were not being considered.

And neither company has any plans to go down the route taken by Wessex Water which is conducting seasonal tariff trials among customers with meters. The firm said water use fell six per cent when charges were increased last summer.

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At AW, where more than 67pc of customers have meters, a spokesman said most usage was flushing toilets, washing and cooking and it was difficult to cut back on such essentials so any reduction was likely to be small compared to the cost of administering a scheme.

And Ms Pinkerton said they would not start considering seasonal tariffs until at least 85-90pc of customers were using meters. At present the figure stood at about 50pc.

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