ONE of the consequences of defeating coronavirus is the certainty that anyone following the government advice will see a huge increase in the amount of water they use, from much more regular handwashing to more cleaning down of surfaces and by drinking both cold and hot drinks much more often than usually.

To ensure that people aren’t dissuaded from following the really good advice it is essential that water companies don’t force people – especially those on water meters – to choose between safety and poverty. To that end the government should immediately instruct the companies to commit to not charging any more for water consumption than customers have paid on average over the last year. Their profits and accounts are such that they can easily absorb this short term loss and it would do them a power of good with the people of this country.

If they choose to put their profits before the health and well being of us all then that should lead to their losing their franchises at the earliest possible moment, if necessary, through emergency legislation. After all are we all in this together or not?

Dave Anderson, Middleton-in-Teesdale