Water watchdog considers water White Paper

08 March 2012

The Consumer Council for Water will be discussing the implications of the Government’s White Paper on Water - Water for Life, when it meets in Chester-le-Street on Wednesday 14 March.

Press Office: Kate Eccles on 0121 345 1006 or Dominic Stanley on 0207 963 8819 - CCWaterNorthern0112

The watchdog’s Northern region, which represents customers of Hartlepool Water, Northumbrian Water, Yorkshire Water and United Utilities, will be questioning the companies about their views on the content of the White Paper and what this will mean for the industry and consumers in the future.

Andrea Cook, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water’s Northern Committee, said: “The Consumer Council for Water broadly welcomes the White Paper’s aims as it addresses issues that CCWater has been working on behalf of consumers for, such as extending steps to protect more properties from sewer flooding.

However, in the current economic climate many consumers are facing difficulties in paying for their water and sewerage services. The White Paper reflects the Government’s approach of enabling water companies to begin developing their own social tariffs to help alleviate these problems. We are concerned that, on their own, these customer-funded initiatives will not be enough to address affordability and ensure customers are helped wherever they live.”

Other issues on the agenda include updates on companies’ day to day operations and on the number of complaints received by the Consumer Council for Water about the water companies.

Members of the public are welcome to attend and will have an opportunity to raise any issues relating to water and sewerage services during the listening session at the start of the meeting.

The meeting will begin at 10am on Wednesday 14 March 2012 at Durham CCC, Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground, Riverside, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, DH3 3QR.

The Consumer Council for Water was set up in October 2005 to represent consumers in England and Wales. It costs each water customer an average of 21p per year and since it started has gained £135 million from water companies in reduced prices and extra investments and has taken up over 90,000 consumer complaints about water and sewerage companies. It has also secured over £13 million in compensation and rebates for customers. It is a non-departmental public body reporting to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Government, with a committee for Wales, and four regional committees across England.

For public enquiries to the Consumer Council for Water, please contact via email on enquiries@ccwater.org.uk, via phone on 0845 039 2837, or via text phone on 0121 345 1044.

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