Severn promises winter staff boost

Water firm Severn Trent has vowed to have more staff on hand this winter following a surge in complaints last year after the Arctic snap burst pipes.

Severn, which supplies 8 million customers across the Midlands and the heart of England, pledged to improve customer service levels after complaints rose 16 per cent in 2010/2011. The company said its increased spend on preventing leaks had offset average price hikes of 4.7 per cent and triggered a slight 1 per cent decline in underlying profits to £274m in the six months to 30 September.