New water consumer champion ready to be 'vocal and visible'

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) started work today for water consumers in England and Wales, reported the Office of Water Services in a news release posted to the Government News Network. CCWater will build on the service previously provided by WaterVoice. The new organization will have extra duties and more power than its predecessor, which represented consumers from within the regulatory structure of Ofwat...

LONDON, Oct. 3, 2005 (GNN) -- The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) started work today for water consumers in England and Wales, reported the Office of Water Services in a news release posted to the Government News Network.

CCWater will build on the service previously provided by WaterVoice. The new organization will have extra duties and more power than its predecessor, which represented consumers from within the regulatory structure of Ofwat.

Andrea Cook OBE, chair of CCWater Northern, said: "As Chair of a new Northern region -- advancing the interests of water consumers in the North West, Northumbria and Yorkshire -- I will be looking to United Utilities to address the priorities of its customers and to achieve best practice in service standards.

"CCWater will pay particular attention to the needs of vulnerable customers, including those who are on low incomes, are elderly and/or have disabilities and chronic illnesses, and to rural customers."

Elliot Morley MP, Minister for Climate Change and Environment, said: "The arrival of the Consumer Council for Water is a welcome development. This is a body independent of any other, making it well placed to challenge the water companies, regulators, and the government, and to provide a truly independent representative for the consumer.

"I am particularly pleased that it is the first consumer body with a statutory duty to contribute to sustainable development. The government spelled out in the Water Act its commitment to the sustainable management and use of water, and as part of a more consumer-focused and transparent regulatory regime the new Consumer Council for Water will make an essential contribution to achieving that."

CCWater will consult consumers and others from the end of November on its first forward work program (2005-06 to 2007-08).

For more information, see: http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/aptrix/ofwat/publish.nsf/Content/navigation-watervoice-homepage.

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