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Scottish Water

General Questions – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:00 pm on 16th September 2004.

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Photo of David Mundell David Mundell Conservative 2:00 pm, 16th September 2004

To ask the Scottish Executive how Scottish Water will be involved in its community planning process. (S2O-3201)

Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat

As required by statute, Scottish Water has a consultation code that provides a framework for its engagement with its customers in relation to major investment. Scottish Water engages with communities in a number of ways, including through the water customer consultation panels, via its participation in a number of community planning partnerships throughout Scotland and by contacting its customers directly.

Photo of David Mundell David Mundell Conservative

Does Mr Finnie appreciate the frustration that many local authorities and community partners feel? Having achieved progress on community planning, they feel that Scottish Water's actions and its development constraints are undermining the community planning process.

Photo of Ross Finnie Ross Finnie Liberal Democrat

I do not accept that, as David Mundell knows. We have to understand that, although the serious problem of development constraints has grown considerably in even the past 12 months, the same local authorities and others were part of the consultation process that preceded the determining of the £1.8 billion—the largest ever single investment in Scottish Water. At no point in that consultation were development constraints raised as a major item. The programme was fashioned on the basis of the evidence that was produced at the time and directed Scottish Water in dealing with regulatory requirements for public health, the quality of drinking water and outfall sewerage.