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November 5, 2003 12:00 AM

Water running into a bath from taps.Commenting on reports that the average bills of two water companies - Northumbrian Water and United Utilities - are set to rise next year, Norman Baker MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Environment Secretary, said:

"It is very regrettable that up to 10 million water users are facing significant increases in their bills. But important environmental improvements do need to be introduced and they have to be paid for.

"The only way forward is to curb demand through measures such as metering. The Government's approach is to close its eyes and hope that escalating bills disappear."