I this morning wrote to Richard Aylard at Thames Water asking for clarification on what the 28 day exemption means.
This morning the ITV website was erroneously [since updated] reporting that the lifting of the hosepipe ban for landscapers and gardeners was in place for four weeks only.
I wonder if we can issue a statement to clarify the 28 day exemption for landscape and gardening businesses?
Reading through various media sites (this ITV one is a classic example http://www.itv.com/news/london/2012-05-21/hosepipe-ban-relaxed-for-gardening-firms/) it states that the lifting of the ban is temporary [or that's how they are reading the 28 day rule].
We understand it that a 28 day period of exemption starts from the installation of turf and/or plants and that a new 28 day exemption period starts as and when a new project is completed.
Could you please send me clarification of this so that I may update my members?
Your advice is especially welcome during this current period of warm/hot weather.
Richard Aylard responded very swiftly. In the interests of transparency I have published his response below, in full.
I agree that some of the coverage has been unhelpful in terms of getting the facts across.
Please feel free to make it clear that the purpose of the exemption is to allow gardening businesses to continue operating throughout the remainder of the temporary use ban.
The industry has explained that the key is to have a 28 day period at the end of every job during which newly planted turf, plants and trees can be watered. We have accepted this, subject to following the Codes of Practice that we have agreed between us.
So, for the sake of clarity, this is not a temporary exemption (though of course it would be open to us to withdraw the exemption if that became necessary).
The 28 day period during which a hosepipe may be used following planting applies to every job undertaken by gardening businesses. To put it another way, each job has its own 28 day period.
I am copying this to Nick Ellins at Water UK, Tim Briercliffe at HTA and Tim Mudge at TGA.
Simon - please ask ITV to correct their website.