Leadhills Water Campaign meets Scottish Water

A public meeting was ultimately declined by Scottish Water – perhaps with good reason. What actually happened was well focussed and appears to be promising.

On Wednesday 2nd, a meeting, chaired by Karen Gillon MSP and attended by a core group along with three representatives from Scottish Water, took place at the Hopetoun. The aim being to discuss what went wrong, how to address the issues arising and the question of compensation.

Scottish Water have conceded and explained the difficulties experienced and were keen to see our survey results for the purpose of further analysis and guidance in their efforts to make improvements. More survey returns would be very helpful; there are still a number of households that lost supply and are not yet represented in the survey.

There is a strong case for the complete overhaul of the Leadhills water supply which appears to have the support of Karen Gillon. Scottish Water is expected to return to Leadhills within a few months to outline what they have done and what they intend to do.

On the question of compensation, there is an existing structure that will be appropriate for a number of households that lost supply (£20 for the first 12 hours then £10 for each successive 12 hours, I am given to understand). But many in the village were off supply for an extended period that we feel to be well beyond the scope of the existing compensation structure. Furthermore, an number of households suffered significant financial loss as a result of extended interruptions to supply. Claims beyond the existing structure have not been rejected at this stage but it has been made clear by Karen Gillon that any such claims can only succeed if they are properly supported with documentary evidence.

If you wish to pursue any claim over and above the existing compensation structure, you will need to keep any invoices, booking records, cancellation records etc,  that relate to your home or your business. If you called out a plumber on the advice of Scottish Water only to be told your pipes were not frozen and that the problem was external, ensure that you have or can get an invoice. If you went to stay with friends or relatives because your home became uninhabitable, write an account of this with dates, times and locations, have your friends/relatives do the same. Any additional documentation that can support your assertions can also be helpful – e.g. you next phone bill might have a gap in itemised calls where you were away from home. Do you know when you called Scottish Water? If you have not already done so, write down dates, times and who you spoke to, to the best of your recollection. If you have a job reference number, keep it. Whatever you offer as evidence should be reasonably verifiable.

If you don’t have complete records, don’t give up. What you do have may still be enough.

Preliminary Results of the Leadhills Water Campaign Survey (PDF document)

Leadhills Action Group & Scottish Water Meeting Minutes (PDF document)

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