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EX BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL CHIEF JOINS WATER WATCHDOG TEAM

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Roger Taylor has been appointed as the man to protect the interests of water customers in the Midlands. ...
Roger Taylor has been appointed as the man to protect the interests of water customers in the Midlands.
Mr Taylor will be the new chair of Ofwat's central customer service committee (CSC). The CSC speaks independently of the regulator in representing the interests of customers of Severn Trent Water and South Staffordshire Water.
The announcement was made today by the director general of water services, Philip Fletcher, following a review of appointments of the chairs of the ten regional Ofwat CSCs.
He is one of six new chairs appointed in England and Wales, to succeed those who will be standing down shortly when their current term of office ends.
The ten CSC chairs form the Ofwat National Customer Council (ONCC). Philip Fletcher announced recently that Maurice Terry, Chair of the North West CSC, will take over as chair of ONCC from 1 April 2001 when the three-year term of the current chair, Sheila Reiter, ends.
The CSCs and ONCC work together to ensure effective representation of customers' interests at local, national and European level.
The appointments were made in accordance with the rules of the office of the commissioner for public appointments and following open competition. Different means, including advertising in national newspapers, were used to seek a diverse range of candidates, in particular women and people from ethnic minority groups.
The appointment process also took account of the proposals in the recent Government consultation on the draft Water Bill to set up a new independent Consumer Council for Water to replace the CSCs. The timetable for this is dependent upon when Parliamentary time is available for the Water Bill.
To maintain continuity and effectiveness of customer representation, CSC Chairs have been appointed on the basis that they will be eligible for appointment in due course to the new council and its regional committees.
Philip Fletcher said: 'In advance of the new consumer council for water I am committed to encouraging stronger and more independent customer representation
within the current statutory framework.
'Roger Taylor and the other five new chairs will enhance the diversity and depth of experience and skills on the CSCs and ONCC. They and the chairs to be re-appointed have a wide knowledge of the business, local government, public health and voluntary sectors, and will bring a sound grasp of the issues involved in protecting
customers' interests.'
Philip Fletcher added: 'I would like to pay tribute to the contribution and achievements of the retiring Chairman of Central CSC, Clive Wilkinson who has held
the post for eleven years.'
Notes:
A biography of Roger Taylor is attached.
Philip Fletcher, the director general of water services, is the economic regulator of the water and sewerage services in England and Wales.
The new chairs are: Roger Taylor - Central CSC; Dr John Ford CBE - CSC for Wales; Mrs Catherine Harvey - Eastern CSC; Ms Andrea Cook OBE - Northumbria CSC; Dr Noel Olsen - South West CSC; Mr Mohammed Ajeeb - Yorkshire CSC.
Three of the current CSC Chairs have been reappointed; they are: Mr Maurice Terry - North West CSC; Mr Herman Scopes - Thames CSC; Mrs Sheila Reiter - Wessex CSC.
A further announcement will be made in due course about the chair of Southern CSC. This has been delayed due to the illness of the current chair, Dr John Beishon, who has been offered reappointment.
CSC chairs are appointed by the director general of water services under Section 28 of the Water Industry act 1991.
These appointments fall outside the remit of the commissioner of public appointments but the director general has committed himself to act as if the commissioner's rules applied.
CSC Chairs have been appointed for the maximum term allowed under the Act of four years; the ONCC chair has been appointed for three years.
10. CSC chairs receive a salary of£19,018 per annum based on an average commitment of eight days per month. The CSC Chair who in addition holds the post of ONCC Chair receives a salary of£28,527 per annum reflecting the greater level of responsibilities and higher time commitment required.
11. The CSCs:
* investigate and resolve customer complaints;
* make sure that the water companies are aware of and responsive to
concerns from customers about the range and quality of services
available;
* represent customers' interests to the Director so he can take
their concerns into account in making his decisions on regulatory
issues.
Biographical Note - Roger Taylor
Chair of Central CSC - Customers of Severn Trent Water and South
Staffordshire Water
Appointed for four years from 26 February 2001.
Roger Taylor is Managing Director of JSS Pinnacle Consulting Limited.
He has 30 years experience in local government and has held the posts of Chief Executive of both Birmingham City Council (1988 - 94) and Manchester City Council (1984 - 88).
He is currently a Senior Fellow of the School of Public Policy, Birmingham University. Other positions held previously are: Secretary of the West Midlands Joint Committee; Company Secretary, Manchester Airport plc; Non-Executive Director of Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive and Director of Ex Cathedra Baroque Chamber Choir.
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