British Water members not keen on water nationalisation
Companies across the water supply chain believe that the Labour Party's plan to nationalise English water companies would negatively impact their businesses as well as customers, according to a survey by British Water.
On overall impact on the supply chain, 78% of the British Water members surveyed said they believed future investment would be reduced or significantly reduced, while 14% believed it would increase. Sixty-four per cent said they believed the number of people employed in the supply chain would be reduced.
A similar number, 66%, believe that standards of service would be reduced or significantly reduced, but only 39% believe that water quality at the tap would be reduced. Some 40% of British Water’s 200+ member companies responded, with some 55% saying they believed their business’ turnover and profitability would be reduced or significantly reduced.
One respondent said: “I think there would be a lack of investment followed by a deterioration in assets and environmental performance. I think that drinking water standards would be maintained by hook or by crook.” Another said it would be useful to consider other models such as not-for-profit DÅµr Cymru Welsh Water.
Shadow chancellor of the exchequer, John McDonnell unveiled the Labour Party’s intention to bring the UK’s privatised water companies in England and Wales back into public ownership in a conference speech in September 2018. He said that the renationalised industry would be run by local councils, workers and customers under a new ownership model.
British Water UK director Paul Mullord said: “Changes in the ownership structure of the water industry would inevitably have an impact on British Water members. The risk coming from renationalisation is that levels of investment would fall, reducing opportunities for the supply chain, especially small and medium-sized enterprises, and potentially impacting on levels of service for customers.
“While less than 40% believe water quality into people’s homes would be affected, a majority of our members have expressed concern about the impact on their businesses, jobs and levels of investment.”
Of the 40% of British Water member companies that responded, 37% were consultants, 30% were contractors, 29% were manufacturers and suppliers, and 4% were water utilities.
- British Water “encouraged” by utility survey results British Water says it is encouraged by the results of its latest water company performance survey, but that improvements... Read More >
- Speakers inspire Women in Water campaign Delegates to the second Women in Water conference organised by British Water have embraced the trade association's... Read More >
- Keep focused amid uncertainty, British Water chair tells sector British Water chairman Chris Loughlin has told members that they need to stay focused on the delivery of outstanding... Read More >
- Reaching net carbon zero In summer 2019, the water industry committed to reach net carbon zero by 2030. This is a very ambitious aim and... Read More >
- Meeting AMP7 leakage targets Damian Crawford, head of smart networks & leakage at Stantec, discusses how becoming data-rich and knowledge-smart can... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >
- Delivering a smart network Tom Mills, senior director UK&I at Sensus, examines what a smart water network really means - and how to get there. Read More >
- A watershed moment for the water industry? Tessa Harding, director of water at Thomson Environmental Consultants, discusses the government's Environment Bill. Read More >