Households in Lichfield and Burntwood who struggle to make ends meeting if their Universal Credit payments are cut are being urged to seek support with their water bills.

The temporary £20 uplift is due to be removed in October, despite concerns being raised by groups, including community leaders in Lichfield.

But South Staffs Water is urging customers to ask for help to keep their bills affordable when the change happens.

It comes after research by the independent CCWater group revealed people trying to avoid water and energy usage by taking steps such as missing meals or washing their clothes while taking a shower.

Rachael Merrell, customer delivery director at South Staffs Water, said special tariffs and flexible payment plans were among the options for people on low incomes.

“Over the last few years we have worked incredibly hard to ensure that our customers are aware of all the financial support we offer.

“We’ve seen a growing number of customers seek help since lockdown first began, and we now have over 50,170 customers receiving financial support from us.

“However, we know that there are more people who may need help and this will increase with the change to Universal Credit payments. 

“So, we want to make sure that anyone who is struggling knows that they can contact us.”

Rachael Merrell, South Staffs Water

People can all 0800 0930610 to discuss their options or visit the South Staffs Water website for more information.

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