There is no caution or hesitancy about my welcome for the fact that my hon. Friend the Minister has agreed to the amendment. He has shown a willingness to listen and an awareness of consumer interests.
As with Lords amendment No. 1, this amendment shows a willingness openly to review plans. I urge my hon. Friend to continue along this line and to listen to the advice of the statutory water companies, of one of which I am a director. Such companies offer a valuable service to the consumer and a valuable model. I ask my hon. Friend, before moving towards public limited companies, encircled by regulations in a monopoly supply situation, to consider the tried and tested model of the statutory water companies. Their dividend is limited by statute and all surpluses must be redirected towards the benefit of the consumer.