Sloppy water chiefs drain our pockets

HeadLine: SLOPPY WATER CHIEFS DRAIN OUR POCKETS

The Mirror, 20/02/2003, p14
by SHAUN MILNE

SLOPPY Scottish Water chiefs have been savaged by industry watchdogs
for overcharging customers.
Watchdog Alan Sutherland says inefficiency meant householders had to
pay £86 more in water and sewerage bills than people in England and
Wales.
And in a scathing attack, he called for details of Scottish Water’s
incentive scheme for executives to be published.
Mr Sutherland said: “If Scottish Water meets, or outperforms, its
targets then its executives should be duly rewarded.
“Failure, however, should not be rewarded.”
Mr Sutherland launched his attack in his first report as the Scottish
water industry commissioner.
He revealed that bills sent out by the three former Scottish water
authorities last year were 60 per cent higher than those of their
efficient English and Welsh counterparts.
Mr Sutherland’s report examined the financial performance of the three
authorities before they were merged into Scottish Water.
He revealed that West of Scotland Water improved its cost performance
by eight per cent, but the performance of the east and north
authorities fell by three per cent and five per cent respectively.
Mr Sutherland said the level of future bills now depended on Scottish
Water achieving targets and narrowing the efficiency gap.
He said: “Failure to achieve this could result in one or more of the
following undesirable outcomes – higher prices, lower levels of
customer service, lower levels of compliance with environmental or
public health targets and a greater burden on public expenditure.”
Mr Sutherland also revealed that Scottish Water was failing to make
enough progress in its bid to cut costs by just over £380million a year
by 2005.
And he warned that if it fell just 10 per cent short of that target,
domestic bills would go up by over £10 a year.
Even if Scottish Water hits those targets its performance would only be
on a par with the leading company in England in 1992.

**



Categories: Daily Mirror articles

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