Falkirk home owners fight bills for pipe work

Val Hunter

Val Hunter

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Home owners in Langlees have been told they’ll have to fork out up to £1700 for new water pipes while council tenants will pay nothing.

Falkirk Council says it needs to upgrade the water supply to homes in the area as the current one is outdated, causing costly problems and disruptions when bursts occur.

The local authority wants to put separate pipes into each home to prevent bursts affecting more than one property that will meet modern specifications.

While council house tenants will not need to pay a penny, home owners have been hit with bills ranging from £1500-1700. The figure was over £3000 last year when the council first sent out bills, but due to opposition it was forced to find a way to reduce the amount.

Despite the reduction, Val Hunter, chairperson of Langlees, Bainsford and New Carron Community Council, said: “The council has moved the goalposts so many times it’s hard to trust the reasons for doing this and people just can’t afford it.

“There are many elderly and younger people who are very stressed about paying this bill which we all think is unnecessary. None of the owners that I know of have had problems with their water supply.”

Falkirk North Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn said a number of questions remain unanswered about the work and said she will be demanding answers from council staff at a public meeting in the Dawson Centre on Tuesday. She added: “The cost is still significant and makes little difference to those on low incomes or state benefits.”

A council spokesman said owners are responsible for any work under their title deeds adding: “Over a number of years, residents in these areas have been affected by burst water pipes which has caused much disruption to the neighbourhood. We have decided that these should be replaced to a required specification that meets the approval of Scottish Water.

“We have managed to significantly reduce the costs of the work originally involved after negotiations were successful with Scottish Water.”