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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 130

Date:- 20 December 2003

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It’s official – electricity consumers get a poor deal

A Parliamentary report out today reveals that electricity customers are getting a poor deal from their energy companies. Merseyside MPs Frank Field & George Howarth helped to write the report of the influential Public Accounts Committee into the wholesale electricity market. It found that the savings made by the energy companies on the wholesale market are not been passed onto domestic consumers across the North West and that consumer loyalty is being penalised, rather than rewarded, by energy companies.

David Sidebottom Director of energywatch North West, the gas and electricity consumer watchdog, said that:- “If you’re one of the 60 percent of North West consumers who have never switched energy supplier and remain with a ‘local’ supplier such as Scottish Power MANWEB or Powergen (formerly TXU NORWEB) you could be chucking upto £120 a year down the drain.

If you’re still with your local supplier, you’re likely to find that your nearest is probably your dearest. Worse still they could be ‘rewarding’ your loyalty by taking an extra £120 a year off you. People can make their own minds up on whether they’d prefer that amount of money in their pockets or in the profits column of an energy company.

Consumers face an unacceptable trend of rising prices for a falling standard of service in areas such as billing and meter reading. Only yesterday, we saw the energy companies rapped by the regulator (Ofgem) for not doing enough to properly promote the services for their most vulnerable consumers. Now we see Merseyside customers, ”

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SOUTHPORT PUBS PROMOTE SOFT OPTION THIS CHRISTMAS

THE Mount Pleasant on Manchester Road and The Railway on Liverpool Road are once again backing The Portman Group’s Christmas anti-drink and drive campaign.

This will be the third year the John Barras pubs have supported the ‘I’ll Be Des’ campaign, which encourages party revellers to agree on a person in their group to be the designated driver and not drink.

And to encourage their customers to have a designated driver, the managers are offering free refills of any soft drink purchased all night.

“Everyone wants to have a happy Christmas and New Year and as a responsible community pub we want to do our bit to hopefully make it a safe one,” explained Jeff Jaeger. “By offering the designated driver free refills all night we hope that they feel valued and appreciated not only by their friends but by us!”

Jim Minton, Director of Campaigns and Communications said:- "We're delighted that John Barras pubs up and down the country have introduced DES, the designated non-drinking driver, to all their customers. This year, using new re-vamped I'll be DES material we have dispatched a record number of packs to pubs and bars. Thanks to the support of licensees like Jeff, the campaign will reinforce the message not to drink and drive."

The two pubs are part of leading community pub chain John Barras. With more than 120 pubs across England and Scotland all the pubs are committed to offering excellent value for money food and drink, are the home of live sport and host a regular entertainment programme.

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Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2003.