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Water Authorities

Volume 982: debated on Wednesday 16 April 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he is satisfied that he has sufficient powers to ensure that water authorities exercise all necessary economies in their provision of sewerage and environmental services.

My right hon. Friend is able to influence water authorities through public expenditure and cash limit controls, and by encouraging the development of controls over manpower and other resources, including the use of performance indicators and aims. My right hon. Friend, the Minister for Local Government and Environmental Services has been doing so in recent meetings with the chairman and chief executive of each water authority. We are not proposing to seek additional statutory powers.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to enable the appointment of a council, representative of consumers interests, for each water authority.

A measure of accountability by water authorities to consumers already exists, in that the majority of the members of water authorities are appointed by local authorities. The future of the consumer bodies for all the nationalised industries is at present under review, and we shall consider the position of the water industry in relation to that review in due course.