FT - pumps Apr 2017

Fuel companies have been accused of charging unfairly high prices which discriminate against rural communities, by a district council in Gloucestershire.

Forest of Dean District Council passed a motion calling on the energy secretary to ensure fuel companies do not charge excessive prices in rural areas.

Former council leader councillor Tim Gwilliam highlighted prices he believed were discriminatory in a motion at a meeting of the council.

He said: “On Saturday May 27th at 10;45am a litre of diesel at a Texaco linked petrol station in the Forest of Dean was priced at £1.58.9ppl.

“At the very same time at Westgate Bridge petrol station on the outskirts of Gloucester, at another Texaco linked petrol station, a litre of diesel cost £1.43.9ppl. A difference of 15ppl.

“A similar difference was found for petrol and also among all other fuel companies.

“We in the Forest of Dean are used to paying a premium for delivery on goods, being as we are, clearly in the eyes of city dwelling organisations and businesses considered, in the back of beyond. It would, however, seem fair to suggest that the cost difference in delivering fuel from refineries in either the middle east or from the southern United States is somewhat minimal whether that fuel be delivered to Westgate Bridge or 20 miles down the road to Coleford.”

The motion called on the leader of the council to write to the local MP Mark Harper, and ask him in his role as transport secretary “to request fuel companies consider rural area pricing policies that, while allowing the vendor to earn a decent living, ensures that petrol and diesel pricing does not discriminate against rural communities such as the Forest of Dean”.

Gwilliam accepted an amendment to direct the letter to the secretary of state for energy security and net zero, Grant Shapps, and the motion was passed by the council.