‘Ban washes away all our business’
A LEIGHTON landscaper has hit out at Anglian Water for its ‘draconian’ enforcement of the hosepipe ban, claiming it has left businesses in major peril.
Giles Tawell, pictured, owner of Everfarm Turf Co, says his business has been crippled by the emergency measures, with sales falling by 80 per cent since the ban was brought in on April 5.
With large parts of the country being subjected to flood warnings in recent weeks, many have questioned the necessity of the measures and last week saw water restrictions lifted in 19 areas where Anglian Water is the provider. Leighton Buzzard was not among them.
Despite record rainfall in April which turned many areas of the county subaquatic, the utlities provider said that groundwater levels – which accounts for 50 per cent of its supply – remain low.
However, Mr Tawell, 57, said last week that businesses are being unfairly punished and face ruin if an exemption isn’t granted for the laying of new lawns.
He told the LBO: “Normally April and May are our busiest months of the year but business has flatlined as a result of these draconian controls.
“People are petrified of being slapped with a £1,000 fine so they’re shelving all plans for new turf.
“The landscape industry is being destroyed and in 25 years this is the worst I’ve ever seen it – my sales have fallen 80 per cent.”
While many gardeners are able to fill watering cans to keep their plants hydrated, newly turfed lawns cannot be stood on so sprinklers and hosepipes are the only viable ways to water them.
Mr Tawell was given a glimmer of light, late yesterday, when Anglian Water announced that gardening businesses were now exempt from the hosepipe ban with immediate effect.
The Leighton gardener will therefore have the chance to recoup some of the thousands of pounds his business has lost in the last seven weeks, after turf growers and commercial gardeners were permitted to water newly laid turf and plants with a hosepipe for up to 28 days.
For the full story, pick up the May 22 edition of the LBO.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Leighton Buzzard
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North west