Water UK has sent a submission to the Labour Party on their ‘Democratic Public Ownership’ consultation.
The submission also examines the Labour Party’s ‘Clear Water’ proposals for nationalising the water and sewerage industry in England.
Our view is that, if implemented, the proposals could seriously damage the provision and quality of water and sewerage services in England. It could create a future where decisions are driven primarily by short term political expediency rather than the needs of customers, and where the high levels of investment needed to improve services, enhance the natural environment and protect resources for the future are not sustained.
‘Clear Water’ and the consultation on ‘Democratic Public Ownership’ both stop far short of explaining how the big challenges faced by the water and sewerage industry – like climate change and an increasing population – would be addressed by its substantial reorganisation of structures and ownership. It makes no attempt to acknowledge the many improvements made since privatisation in 1989 – let alone the further benefits, such as falling bills, improved services, and increased investment that companies have set out for future years.
The result of these plans would harm customers, pensioners, the environment, and the economy. They could also create an unwelcome and unnecessary diversion of attention and funds from other critical government priorities. Alternatively – as experienced previously – the water and sewerage service would lose out on government funding to areas deemed by Ministers to be a higher priority.