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Lord Taylor of Goss Moor appointed as champion for water customers

29th September 2020

Lord Matthew Taylor of Goss Moor has been appointed as the independent chair of a panel which will champion the voice of South West Water customers, giving them a greater say in the company.

Lord Taylor, who was MP for Truro and St Austell for more than 20 years, was selected as Chair of the advisory WaterShare+ Panel following a competitive and publicly advertised appointment process.  A graduate of Oxford University, he has a detailed knowledge of the South West and a strong understanding of the water industry, having been a non-executive director of South West Water.

His appointment follows the launch of South West Water’s unique WaterShare+ scheme, which shares the company’s success with customers and gives them more control in the company.  South West Water is currently inviting customers to choose how they would like to receive £20 from a pot of £20 million earned from its outperformance over the past five years – either as a credit on their bill or as shares in its parent company, Pennon Group plc.

Lord Taylor will chair quarterly meetings of the WaterShare+ Panel at which customers can question South West Water directors on progress against plans.  The first meeting in public will be in January 2021, following a meeting this Friday to establish the panel.  Meetings will be held virtually at first, due to Covid-19 restrictions, but as circumstances allow they will be held in locations in Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. There will also be a South West Water Annual General Meeting for customers from 2021.

Lord Taylor said: “The main purpose of the panel will be to hold South West Water to delivering its plan to improve services and cut bills - and allow customers to quiz the executive team to tackle any issues that arise with the delivery of those commitments. I am determined the panel works as an effective champion for customers in holding the business to account, enabling a water sector-leading involvement of customers in the business.”

WaterShare+ is part of South West Water’s 2020-25 New Deal, which was designed by customers for customers following the company’s biggest ever customer consultation. The New Deal, which was fast-tracked for approval by regulator Ofwat, also includes lower bills, extra support for those most in need, and more than £1 billion of extra spending to improve services, including the company’s biggest environmental improvement programme for 15 years.


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South West Water