Defra shelves private water supply transfer proposal - for now
Defra has shelved plans to transfer private water supply ownership to the water companies for the time being but the Welsh government is to continue pursuing the proposal. The development follows a public consultation, the outcome of which has been announced today by Defra.
The department said that having assessed the evidence both it and the Welsh government believe there are benefits to be gained from transferring ownership of private supply pipes to water supply companies. However, there is less certain evidence about the range of potential impacts on water bills and geographical regions.
Defra said that as a result and with the coalition government's commitment to maintaining pressure on keeping household bills down, it does not intend to carry out further work on transferring water supply ownership at the current time.
The Welsh government proposes to further examine the costs and benefits of transferring ownership the portion of water supply pipes that are currently privately owned by the water companies that it regulates as part of the implementation of its water strategy.
The consultation sought views and evidence on three policy options regarding the future management of water supply pipes. The options comprised do nothing; develop a voluntary code of practice for maintenance and repair; or create a power to regulate for the transfer of water supply ownership.
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