Organisations, like the Cubs and Girl Guides, feared they would not be able to carry on if they had to pay increases in their water bills.

However, environment secretary, Hilary Benn, told the Labour Party’s annual conference last night, he would create legislation to allow water companies to cut bills for volunteer groups.

Mr Benn said: “Some churches, sports clubs and youth organisations have been hit by huge and unaffordable increases in their water bills for surface drainage, it isn’t right.

“So I can announce that we will legislate to allow water companies to run concessionary schemes for these organisations so they can get on with doing a great job instead of worrying about unaffordable bills.”

The minister also announced a review of England’s wild spaces which will look at the ability of wildlife to move between them, adapt to climate change and other pressures.

Luke Walsh

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