A campaigner is taking to the skies to protest against a rise in water charges.

Sean Clerkin, whose tactics have often been to confront politicians face to face on the ground and disrupt political campaign events, has had to think of other ways to protest during the lockdown with physical distancing rules.

In previous election campaigns he has challenged ex-Labour leader Iain Gray, in Central Station and chased after him into a Subway sandwich shop.

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He also hijacked a Labour street event in Glasgow getting face to face with ex-leader Jim Murphy.

Glasgow Times:

He has challenged ex-Tory leader, Annnabel Goldie, and staged protests at leadership husting events and party election campaign visits and has, on several occasion, led occupations at organisation's headquarters.

He also caused controversy and anger with a banner 'England Get out Of Scotland' which he says will no longer be used.

Glasgow Times:

But with a ban on gatherings and two metre distancing preventing him from getting up close he has turned to a new method of getting his mesage across.

His latest protest is inspired by Rangers fans who celebrated their team’s title win by flying a banner over Dundee to taunt Celtic fans when they were playing against Dundee United at Tannadice.

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Mr Clerkin, and the Scottish Tenants Organisation, which he chairs, said he has hired the same company to fly a banner over Holyrood two days before the Scottish elections and across Glasgow calling on the First Minister to scrap the price rises.

Glasgow Times:
Mr Clerkin said the Scottish Water price escalator, over the next six years, will annually increase bills and see people in a Band C council tax home paying £125 more for water in six years time.

He said: “The Scottish Government have unfairly put up water charges with people receiving their increased Water bills in the last few days. 

“We have hired an aeroplane that will fly over the Scottish Parliament and Glasgow on May 4 with a clear message stating ‘STURGEON SCRAP THE WATER PRICE HIKE’.

Glasgow Times:
“With Scottish Water having a massive cash surplus of £531.6 million and with the financial difficulties people are suffering because of the COVID-19 Pandemic there is no need to increase water charges in Scotland and we call on the Scottish Government to stop this price hike going any further. ”

Band A homes will pay an extra £95 over the next 6 years, those in Band B will pay an extra £110, Band C  an extra £125,  Band D £141, Band E  £172, Band F £204, Band G £236 and those in Band H  an extra £283.

Scottish Water has said that the increase in charges follows extensive customer research which found that customers are against delaying necessary investment in vital water and waste water infrastructure that will result in higher increases in future. 

It says the charge increase will support investment necessary to maintain water quality and service standards despite ageing water and waste water assets and the impacts of climate change and extreme weather.