Ofwat: Strategic Priorities

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:08 pm on 9th June 2022.

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Photo of Daisy Cooper Daisy Cooper Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Health and Social Care) 3:08 pm, 9th June 2022

I thank the right hon. Member for his intervention, and I think that is an exceptionally good idea. I am certainly open to any idea that effectively makes these water companies cough up to clean up the mess they have made. I would happily have a conversation with him to see how we can advance such a suggestion.

In addition, I would like the Government to add members of local environmental groups to water company boards. Some of our river volunteers, certainly in St Albans, are themselves experts—they know these rivers inside out—and they should have a voice and a role on water company boards.

I would like to see Ofwat using its existing powers to tackle the discharge of raw sewage, but I also want Ofwat’s powers to be strengthened, and I will give two or three quick examples. I do think that the Government could give Ofwat the power to force water companies to make repairs and investments to reduce sewage discharge. Ofwat could have the power to ban companies from giving bonuses to their executives until this mess has been cleaned up, and Ofwat should have the power to force companies to publish the number of sewage discharges more regularly than just once a year.