which will ensure that, for the immediate future, water and sewerage
customers in the North West region will continue to be represented by
their own regional committee and office.
In July it was announced that the committee and office for the North
West (based in Manchester) would merge with those for Yorkshire and
Northumbria (both based in Darlington) and be relocated to York. The
decision was made as part of the transition process that will see
WaterVoice becoming the new independent Consumer Council for Water
(CCW) next year.
However, following representations from WaterVoice North West, and
from local MPs concerned about the implications for their
constituents, this decision has now been reversed. Ministers will
now leave it to the new CCW to consider what changes, if any, it
wishes to make to the regional committee structure following its
formal establishment in October 2005.
Brian Linfield, WaterVoice North West deputy chairman, said: 'We are
delighted by the Government's decision on this matter, which we
believe is good news for the region's water customers. We are also
very grateful for the support which we received from a number of
local MPs who recognised the importance of retaining a strong local
voice for water customers.'
Mr Linfield added: 'WaterVoice North West provides assistance to
thousands of water customers each year and I am pleased to be able to
say it is now 'business as usual'. This decision means that the
organisation is now better placed to build on its existing strengths
as we move to become the new Consumer Council for Water.'
Customers who need advice or assistance with problems relating to the
services they receive from United Utilities can contact WaterVoice
North West at the address below, e-mail them at
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact them through the WaterVoice's
website at www.watervoice.org.uk
1. WaterVoice provides a strong and independent voice for all
customers of the water and sewerage companies in England and Wales.
2. WaterVoice operates through nine regional committees in England
and a committee for Wales. They represent the interests of customers
in respect of price, service and value for money; they also
investigate complaints from customers about their water company.
3. The ten WaterVoice committee Chairmen form the WaterVoice Council.
The WaterVoice Council and its sub-groups deal with issues at
national and European level.
4. WaterVoice North West is the statutory Ofwat North West Customer
Service Committee, established under the Water Industry Act 1991 and
responsible for representing the interests of customers of United
Utilities. They can be contacted at the following address: WaterVoice
North West, 9th Floor, Bridgewater House, Whitworth Street,
Manchester M1 6LT.
5. The WaterVoice Annual Report 2003-04 and WaterVoice Programme
2003-04 to 2004-05 are available free of charge from the Ofwat
Library, CentreCity Tower, 7 Hill Street, Birmingham B5 4UA on 0121
625 1373; or on the web, at www.watervoice.org.uk