A NEW team of consumer advocates is ready for the challenge of championing the interests of water customers in Wales.
The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has appointed five local consumer advocates to its Wales Committee. They will work closely with the country’s water companies and key stakeholders to ensure that consumers get the best deal possible from their water and sewerage services in Wales.
Lee Gonzalez, Bob Gilchrist and Angela Davies-Jones will join existing members Clare Evans and Ronnie Alexander, who have been reappointed for a second term.
The Committee will represent the interests of customers of Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water.
Diane McCrea, Chair of the Wales Committee of CCWater, said: “Our consumer advocates play a crucial role in representing consumers’ interests and holding water companies to account, making sure they deliver the services customers expect.
“We are looking forward to working with them to continue the challenge of providing a strong and effective voice for customers throughout Wales.”
She added: “I’d also like to pay tribute to our departing advocates Paul Roberts and Mansel Thomas. Both have made a huge contribution by speaking up for and protecting the interests of water customers in Wales over the past decade.”
Meet the team:
Lee Gonzalez is a research scientist with particular expertise in biophysics and analytical chemistry and a former research fellow at Cardiff University. Lee has a passion for working with disadvantaged people and is currently a trustee of Vale for Africa, a charity working with rural communities in Uganda. He was previously involved with the Jubilee Sailing Trust, helping disabled people to sail tall ships.
Bob Gilchrist is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Chartered Environmentalist with extensive experience in wastewater design both in the UK and overseas. Bob is a previous director of an environmental charity and is moving towards fluency in the Welsh language. He lectures in and has a particular interest in sustainable development within the civil engineering sector.
Angela Davies-Jones is a solicitor, mediator and former director and compliance officer for legal practice in Llanidloes. Angela – who is a first language Welsh speaker – is a member of UK Environmental Law Association, Agricultural Law Association and Resolution. She is passionate about consumer and environmental issues.
Clare Evans has been a hard-working and highly-respected advocate for water customers in Wales since joining CCWater in 2009. Away from CCWater the former Mayor of Rhayader boasts extensive experience in local government and is a freelance consultant in economic development and project management.
Ronnie Alexander has provided a strong voice for water customers since his initial appointment as a local consumer advocate in 2013. He is an environmental/public health expert in local and central government. Ronnie also boasts a long track record of engaging with the public, professionals and politicians to influence policy on a wide range of issues including drinking water quality.