The new independent consumer body – Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) – has started work for water consumers in Wales and England.
CCWater will build on the service previously provided by WaterVoice Wales. The new organisation will have extra duties and more power than its predecessor, which represented consumers from within the regulatory structure of Ofwat.
Diane McCrea, Chair of CCWater Wales, said: For the first time, a truly independent champion emerges to advise, inform and fight for water consumers in Wales.
“CCWater will be vocal and visible for consumers, and will act firmly on the basis of sound evidence, responding to consumers concerns and complaints. We will listen to consumers over the first few months of our existence, and base our work on what they tell us.
Never has there been a more important time for a water consumer body to enter the arena. CCWaters arrival is well-timed, amidst debate about sharp rises in water and sewerage bills and the increasing impact of European legislation on water policy and the affordability of water bills following a year of water bill rises. In Wales we are very aware of the needs of our vulnerable consumers and the sustainability of our water supplies.
Carwyn Jones, Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside said: The set up of the Consumer Council for Water is a welcome development. I attach great importance to the role of the Council and its relationship with the Assembly Government. I very much look forward to its contribution as an effective and challenging representative for the water consumer in Wales.
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
- CCWater Wales represents consumers of D?r Cymru Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water. It took over from WaterVoice Wales on 1 October 2005.
- CCWater is the statutory water consumer body, and operates as an Assembly Sponsored Public Body in Wales and as a non-departmental public body reporting to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in England.
- CCWater is supported by a committee in Wales and by nine regional committees in England. The Councils head office is based in Birmingham.
- CCWater will publish its draft forward work programme on 29 November 2005.
Media enquiries: contact Clive Sterl Regional Manager of CCWater Wales on 0292 0239852
Out-of-hours queries: contact Andrew Marsh on 07778 160803 or Karen Blanchette on 07778 160808.