This week Water UK published for the first time an extensive set of statistics relating to the performance of services by water and sewerage companies for their developer customers. Arising from the Government’s Better Connected guide, this new quarterly report aims to provide transparency about companies’ performance over a wide range of activities, with a view to driving up standards.
The Developer Services report is one of a number of initiatives by Water UK to improve service to developers and help contribute to speeding up the delivery of new housing. To complement this quantitative information, Water UK is working with its members to develop a customer satisfaction measure that will run in parallel with existing measures used to determine satisfaction among domestic customers.
In September Water UK will run two workshops, one dealing with charging for infrastructure and the other with the interface between the planning system and the provision of infrastructure by water and sewerage companies.
The charging workshop will be attended by water companies, developer customers, self-lay organisations, regulators and government departments. It will provide input to the work being carried out by Defra on the principles that should underlie the new charging rules that Ofwat is obliged to prepare under the Water Act 2014. These rules will replace the much criticised provisions of the Water Industry Act 1991. The workshop will explore whether there is a consensus between water companies and developers on these principles.
The planning workshop will bring together a similar range of participants, this time to examine the tension between developers and water companies over the use of the planning system in relation to the provision of infrastructure for new development.