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The North West - Utility cuts stem learning flow

More than 20,000 pupils in the North West of England are to miss out on extra water safety, conservation and science lessons because of cutbacks by a utilities company.

United Utilities has run the sessions at seven outdoor centres across the region for more than 20 years.

Every North West school has been offered activities about the environment, rain water, river and reservoir safety, and hydraulic power.

But the electricity and water operator has decided that the five education staff providing the service will lose their jobs in April.

A United Utilities spokesperson said: "In order to ensure the focus remains on the core services our customers expect, this has led to difficult decisions being made in regards to our education service.

"Challenges being faced in the current economic climate mean that the business can no longer afford to maintain this service.

"We will continue, however, to provide some education provision, such as warning children of the dangers of swimming in reservoirs and visiting schools to talk about major investment works." WS.

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