Parliamentary water group chair calls for end to five-year focus
12 Feb 2019
The chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Water Group has criticised the focus on five-year plans, saying they do not help the industry to deal with its longstanding challenges.
Labour MP Angela Smith told a British Water event at Parliament that: “The profile of those five-year investments doesn’t help the industry at all and I don’t think it helps the supply chain.”
Supporting Ofwat chief executive Rachel Fletcher’s contention that water companies should be thought of as social entrprises, Smith added: “Standards have to be raised in every respect. Challenge is necessary and the regulator needs to use its levers to ensure greater efficiency, better customer service and value for money.”
However, she said that the sector’s global reputation would be valuable post-Brexit when it came to exporting its expertise. New technology and approaches would play a part too she said.
“Whether we leave the EU or not, our government should be more proactive in helping our industries to sell their products and expertise globally.
“New infrastructure offers us the option too of opening up the industry to new operators and perhaps a more pluralistic culture in terms of ownership. If a mutual option were to emerge for commissioning and operating a new source of water supply, for instance, why would we not want to encourage that?”