Privatised Utilities (Regulation)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Trade and Industry – in the House of Commons at 2:22 pm on 12th July 1995.

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Mr. O'Neill:

Is the Minister aware that there is widespread concern about the quality of treatment received by the regional electricity companies at the hands of the regulator? Is he aware of the frustration at the lack of transparency and accountability shown by Professor Littlechild and his staff? Will he take steps to ensure a more businesslike and more commercially aware approach to regulation by Offer? Does he not realise that the companies and the consumers require a more balanced approach? At present, the regulator has neither sympathy for the consumers nor understanding of the commercial realities of the business in which he operates. Surely he can get the balance right and try to satisfy them. If he cannot, will the Minister take steps to remove him?