Water companies’ credibility under the microscope at Portsmouth meeting

The credibility of water companies and how they use customers’ money will be placed firmly under the microscope when the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) meets in Portsmouth on Tuesday (23rd October).

Members of the public are being invited to hear representatives from water companies across London and the South East address a number of key topics including governance, profits and dividends, corporate tax and executive pay in a live Q&A session at the Lord Mayor’s Banqueting Room in Portsmouth Guildhall.

Sir Tony Redmond, London and South East Chair of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “We want to see greater openness and transparency in the water industry, and events such as this are an important opportunity for water companies to demonstrate that they are listening to consumers and taking their concerns seriously.”

Following the Q&A there will be a discussion focusing on the action plans developed by water companies in response to the ‘Beast from the East’ in March. After the spell of severe cold weather and sudden thaw left more than 200,000 households and businesses without water, regulator Ofwat asked four water companies to submit plans to show how future service failures would be avoided. The meeting will give members of the public the chance to hear representatives from three of the four companies asked to submit plans – Southern Water, South East Water and Thames Water – discuss their proposals to ensure they are better prepared in the future.

Sir Tony Redmond added: “Water companies need to show that they have really listened to consumers and learned lessons from the service failures we saw in March. Customers want to see plans that are robust and address a number of key factors, especially in relation to emergency planning, response and communication to ensure a resilient service during such events.”

The meeting will begin at 10.30am. If you would like to attend or if you have any questions, please email Alison Townsend at Alison.Townsend@ccwater.org.uk