People were left fuming after being left with no water once again, on what was one of the coldest nights of the year.

Residents in Billington in the Ribble Valley experienced yet another leak in their mains pipes, which Councillor Ged Mirfin says cut off the water supply to 235 houses from midnight on Monday.

One resident who reported the issue as soon as it became apparent said he was waiting nine and a half hours for someone from United Utilities to come and fix the problem.

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The resident said: "We have no water again. Obviously the strong words from Nigel Evans and Ged Mirfin have done nothing at no fault of their own.

"Terrible service from United Utilities throughout 2020, they should have the contract pulled from them just like Northern Rail.

"They are absolutely disgraceful.

"They said they only got instruction at 9am to fix the repair on Whalley Old Road as it went through a ‘planning stage’ during the night.

"Nine and a half hours after I called they are only just starting to fix the leak.

"No heating and no water. Well done United Utilities for showing your incompetence once again.

"Something must be done.

"Luckily I’m young and healthy but the older generation currently sat at home possibly alone with no water or heating on one of the coldest days of the year so far is infuriating, especially when I reported this incident at midnight."

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Chief executive of United Utilities, Steve Mogford said funding was limited and the company did not currently have a project planned for Billington in their 2020-2025 investment plan.

In an email to Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, he said: "Therefore, in order to reduce the number of bursts on the network we have been modelling the system and assessing the feasibility of installing pressure management valves.

"One such valve was installed at Billington Gardens at the end of September and we have been gradually reducing the pressure since then in order to minimise any shocks to the system.

"We are in the process of designing and ordering another three valves for the Billington and Painter Wood area which will help improve the situation further."

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On top of this, corporate affairs director at United Utilities, Gaynor Kenyon, sent an email to Cllr Ged Mirfin, stating: "We are progressing as a priority the installation of the pressure management values, and proactively seeking early access to private land to fast track the process.

"As I explained in my last note our engineers are also modelling options to see where mains replacement could be a cost effective solution.

"In addition, ahead of these longer term engineering solutions being implemented we are in the process of installing an additional asset in the area which will ensure we minimise customer disruption in the event of a further burst, by allowing our water on wheels alternative supply vehicles to feed directly into the area.

"I will update you again in the New Year with a timeline of our proposed activities and, as promised, we will also write to residents to keep them informed."

A United Utilities spokesman said they understood the concern raised in respect of the water supply issues in Billington and guaranteed engineering plans were being prepared to assure the resilience of the water network in the area is improved.

The spokesman added: “We are treating finding a solution as a priority and we will be providing an update to the community and all relevant stakeholders early in the New Year on how this will be achieved.”