Government to reconsider hosepipe rules

HTA optimistic as DEFRA announces review of hosepipe rules

The Government is to review the controversial legislation surrounding hosepipe bans which are threatening to hit garden retailers’ profits across the drought-ridden south of England. The news has delighted the HTA, which has campaigned hard to secure changes to what it des-cribes as an “illogical law” that unfairly victimises gardeners. DEFRA secretary of state David Miliband and environment minister Ian Pearson met representatives of the water industry last week to discuss water supply challenges. Miliband said the “good, timely and productive” meeting marked the opening of constructive dialogue with the water industry. HTA director of business development Tim Briercliffe welcomed news of the review: “We’re very pleased David Miliband is getting to grips with water management. “It’s positive that the Government is taking the issue seriously.” The HTA has called for the removal of anomalies within the legislation, such as allowing private swimming pools to be filled. It also wants an exemption from an initial ban for professional landscapers and gardeners as well as an exemption for the use of drippers and timed watering systems. Independent weather consultancy Wiseweather has forecast that the summer will be wetter than average, although temperatures will be slightly warmer than average, which may help alleviate the South’s drought situation. While above-average rainfall will not see water restrictions lifted, it would ease the pressure on gardeners unable to use hosepipes.

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