The Consumer Council for Water Western is inviting members of the public to its next meeting in Taunton on Wednesday 24 November where the water watchdog will be questioning water companies on their performance against a range of measures including targets for leakage, sewer flooding and customer service.1
Other issues on the agenda include a review of the Drinking Water Inspectorates latest report on water quality, updates on companies activities and operations and feedback on the number of complaints received by the Consumer Council for Water about the water companies.
Charles Howeson, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water Western, said: Nine out of ten customers tell us that they are satisfied with the service provided by their water company, and if something goes wrong we know that customers want the problem to be sorted out quickly.
Unlike other utilities, water customers do not have the opportunity to switch supplier if they are unhappy with service, but systems are in place to help protect customers and prevent water companies from taking advantage of their monopoly situations. For example, water customers can contact the Consumer Council for Water to raise a complaint about a water company, and we will investigate as necessary. Since we began in October 2005 the Consumer Council for Water has dealt with over 75,000 complaints against water companies and returned over £10 million in direct compensation and rebates for customers.
Following the regulator, Ofwats latest report, we will be pushing for improvements where necessary, and questioning water companies on how they plan to make changes to improve services for consumers.
Individual customers, interest groups and representative bodies are invited to participate in the meeting to raise any issues of interest or concern. Representatives from Wessex Water, Bournemouth and West Hampshire Water, Bristol Water and South West Water will be on hand to answer questions. The Consumer Council for Water wants to increase the use of consumers views when key decisions are made that could affect their services, and meeting in public is an effective forum to contribute to this objective.
The meeting in public will begin at 1:15 pm on Wednesday 24 November at the Old Pavilion at Somerset County Cricket Club, The County Ground, Taunton, TA1 1TJ. The agenda and full supporting papers will be available on the meeting day, or can be requested in advance by contacting the Consumer Council for Waters Western office on 0117 955 7001.