Criticism has been levelled at Scottish Water for price hikes for customers.

The amount households pay in Largs and Millport for water and waste water services in 2023/24 will rise by an average of 37p per week.

The increase – 5% above current charges – will take effect from April 2023, and will be collected alongside council tax.

However, the move has been criticised by South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

Last year it was revealed that bosses at Scottish Water had been paid bonuses of £227,000 in one year and the company were sitting on £500 million in reserves

Colin said: "People are in the midst of the worst cost of living crisis for decades, while Scottish Water sit on half a billion pounds of reserves. 

"They should be using some of those reserves to cushion the impact of these price hikes."

Around half of households in Scotland receive financial support as they automatically have either a discount, exemption or reduction applied to their water and waste water charges.

The charges, which raise about £1 billion annually, support round-the-clock services that bring water to customers’ taps and cleans waste water, returning it safely to the environment.

Further significant increased investment is needed in the coming years to deal with ageing infrastructure and the impacts of the changing climate.

Douglas Millican, Chief Executive of Scottish Water, pictured, said: “Our core services play a vital role in the daily lives of millions of people in Scotland.

“Our responsibility as a publicly funded body is focused on providing excellent service and water quality and reducing our impact on the environment on which we depend."