I live at one of a pair of dwellings high up on the moors above Darley Dale and like many isolated properties in the area we are supplied by our own spring water. In 2009 the government brought out new private water supplies regulations which requires the local authotiry to carry out risk assessments on supplies that serve more than one dwelling. At this point may I state that we ran a Holiday cottage business here from 2001 to 2011 which required our water to be tested at least once a year but in that period DDDC did not fulfil their obligation once. DDDC had the choice of either charging a flat rate for the risk assessment or charging by the hour. In their “wisdom” they chose a flat rate charge of £300 which later rose to £330. In 2011 a report was commissioned by Defra into how the new regulations were proceeding. In that report it states that a very large majority of local authorities across the country chose to charge an hourly rate for the risk assessment and that the range of charges made by these authorities was £117 to £170 for a small water system. I have been in dispute with DDDC over this matter for quite some time and in my correspondence with them I have asked the following questions numerous times without getting an answer:- 1. Why should it cost the same amount to do a risk assessment on my very small system as it costs to do it for a huge system like Youlgreave for example. It seems to me that I am subsidising them. 2. Why does it cost £330 for DDDC to do a risk assessment that other authorities can obviously do for between £117 and£170. The common sense answer can only be either they are making a large profit or they are grossly inefficient. I am sure in the Derbyshire Dales due to its geography there are many residents served by private water supplies who have been charged this inflated fee. If like me you are not happy with this please write to The Director of Community Service, Town Hall, Matlock. In the meantime DDDC please give me a true answer to my question.
Smug and complacent
I was astonished to read in the Mercury the smug and complacent views of Mr Phil Milligan, Head of the East Midlands Ambulance Trust. I realise that changes are to be made but If Mr Milligan thinks his service is “being the best” he is sadly deluded. I was taken into Chesterfield Royal Hospital as a 999 emergency in one of his ambulances. My excellent GP had called 999 at 10am but the ambulance arrived at 3.30pm. Whilst waiting, I had lost a one third of the blood in my body and was slipping in and out of consciousness. Only a few months after discharge I was re-admitted as an emergency case. The ambulance arrived more quickly this time but had great difficulty climbing Slack Hill - it ground to a halt and then could only proceed at a crawl. On this occasion I had e. coli poisoning and was once again