New water consumer champion ready to be ‘vocal and visible’

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) started work today for water consumers in England and Wales.

CCWater will build on the service previously provided by WaterVoice. The new organisation will have extra duties and more power than its predecessor, which represented consumers from within the regulatory structure of Ofwat.

Andrea Cook OBE, Chair of CCWater Northern said: “CCWater intends to be a more vocal and visible champion for water customers.

“As Chair of a new Northern region – advancing the interests of water consumers in the North West, Northumbria and Yorkshire – I will be looking to Yorkshire Water to address the priorities of its customers and to achieve best practice in service standards”.

“CCWater will pay particular attention to the needs of vulnerable customers, including those who are on low incomes, are elderly and/or have disabilities and chronic illnesses, and to rural customers”.

Elliot Morley MP, Minister for Climate Change and Environment, said: “The arrival of the Consumer Council for Water is a welcome development. This is a body independent of any other, making it well placed to challenge the water companies, regulators, and the Government, and to provide a truly independent representative for the consumer.
“I am particularly pleased that it is the first consumer body with a statutory duty to contribute to sustainable development.  The Government spelled out in the Water Act its commitment to the sustainable management and use of water, and as part of a more consumer-focused and transparent regulatory regime the new Consumer Council for Water will make an essential contribution to achieving that.”

CCWater will consult consumers and others from the end of November on its first forward work programme (2005-06 to 2007-08).

Notes for editors

  1. CCWater Yorkshire represents consumers of Yorkshire Water.  It took over from WaterVoice Yorkshire on 1 October 2005.
  2. CCWater is the statutory water consumer body, and operates as a non-departmental public body reporting to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
  3. At regional level, it is supported by nine regional committees in England and one for Wales.  The national office is based in Birmingham.
  4. CCWater will publish its draft forward work programme on 29 November 2005.
  5. Our new national website is www.ccwater.org.uk.

Media enquiries: contact Louise Walker Regional Manager of CCWater Yorkshire on 0132 546 9777

Out-of-hours queries: contact Andrew Marsh on 07778 160803 or Karen Blanchette on 07778 160808.