WaterFuture Panel

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Ahead of the last Price Review and under guidance from Ofwat every water company in the UK has created a 'Customer Challenge Panel'.

Each panel is independently chaired and made up of consumer representatives, customer and community stakeholders, and those who represent a particular segment of society.

Their job is to make sure that a water company's business plan reflects a "sound understanding and reasonable balance" of its customers' views. The Panel also has to check that the company's proposals for delivering the plan are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. The Panel's Terms of Reference can be found here.

South West Water's Customer Challenge Panel, will continue to be known as the WaterFuture Customer Panel.

Nick Buckland has been appointed as Chair following a robust recruitment process which included:

  • review of skills and experience as stipulated in the advert
  • interview with South West Water's Non-Executive Directors and Managing Director.

The CCG Chair position was advertised in our regional newspapers (Western Morning News and Western Gazette) and online through their websites. The advert was also placed in Utility Week as well as on our own website. The advert was placed for 3-4 weeks.

All meeting minutes can be found in our document section


Nick Buckland OBE (Chair)

Nick Buckland OBE lives in Cornwall where he owns and operates an organic livestock farm with his wife. After spending 20 plus years in the IT industry he took a career change in 1996 developing a wide ranging portfolio career in the voluntary, public and private sectors.

Nick is an acknowledged expert in strategic planning, audit, governance, review processes, quality and he has worked closely with many board and board committees. He was on the board of the South West Regional Development Agency (where he was Deputy Chairman). He was also a member of the governing board of the Technology Strategy Board – the government’s innovation agency.

He is Pro Chancellor and former chair of Governors of Plymouth University, one of the largest Universities in the UK. He holds a number of private sector executive and non-executive directorships in a variety of companies. He is a governor of two schools, one in Slough the other in North Devon. He is the chair of Peninsula Community Health CIC, a NHS provider responsible for all non acute hospitals in Cornwall and community nursing services. He chairs the board of EDT annually encouraging 30,000 young people into STEM careers and sits on the advisory board of Great Western Railway. He chairs the board of CSW Group and sits on the board of Tempest Leisure and the Theatre Royal Plymouth. He is an External Member of the Council of the National Trust. He is a trustee of KARST, Plymouth’s largest visual arts facility.

He holds a BSc in Mathematics from the University of Bath, is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, the Institute of Maths and it’s Applications, the Royal Society of Arts, and the Chartered Management Institute. He is a member of the Institute of Directors and the Royal Institution. He holds a Dip RSA, is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Information Systems Practitioner, Chartered Manager and a European Engineer.

He was appointed OBE in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to Innovation & Technology and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Technology by Plymouth University in 2013.


Deputy Chair - To be appointed


David Heath CBE, CC Water, Regional Chair (Western)

David Heath was born in Westbury sub Mendip, in Somerset, and continues to live in the county of his birth, in the village of Witham Friary, near Frome. He has been Member of Parliament for the constituency of Somerton & Frome since 1997, stepping down at the coming general election. A qualified optician by profession, Mr Heath was also involved in local government prior to his election to parliament, becoming in 1985, at 31 years of age, the youngest ever leader of a county council when he became leader of Somerset CC, and subsequently serving as Chair of the Avon and Somerset Police Authority.

He held a number of senior roles in local government and policing at national level, and was appointed to the Audit Commission. In the 1990s he worked as parliamentary consultant to the Worldwide Fund for Nature. In 2010, Mr Heath was asked to join the government, serving as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and as Minister for Farming and Food, standing down from ministerial office in 2013.


Deborah Waddell - Regional Director South West CBI

Deborah was appointed director - south west in June 2014. Her role involves running the member relationship function for CBI in the south west, representing the region's business community on policy issues and ensuring regional businesses have a voice within the CBI’s campaigns. The CBI membership in the south west has grown considerably under Deborah’s leadership. This has been led by a focus and subsequent growth in rural, and food and drink manufacturing company representative.

Before joining the CBI Deborah was previously responsible for Education Business Partnership – South West (EBP-SW). Here she successfully converted EBP-SW from a small grant funded Devon focused organisation to a profitable seven figure turnover social enterprise. Deborah has also previously worked in the coal mining sector and civil service.
She graduated from the University of Manchester with a M.A. (Econ) Politics in 1999 after which she spent some time in Thailand and Laos with World Vision.


Orlando Venn - Senior Water Advisor, Natural England

Orlando Venn is the Senior Water Advisor for Natural England in the South West providing Natural England’s input into water planning mechanisms including river basin planning under WFD, water industry Asset Management Planning (AMP), flood risk management planning, and other landscape scale initiatives. He has oversight of a number of major programmes which aim to achieve or maintain favourable condition in freshwater SSSIs including nutrient management plans, diffuse water pollution and river restoration plans. In addition, Orlando engages closely on high risk or contentious casework such as those where compliance issues and growth pressures are an issue.

Prior to working with Natural England, Orlando worked for 12 years providing environmental consultancy support for development of numerous land use, waste and mineral plans as well as working on large infrastructure projects in the transport, mining and flood defence sectors both in the UK and abroad. Clients included DEFRA, the Environment Agency, the European Commission and the International Finance Corporation.


Jeremy Bailey - Water Company Account Manager, Environment Agency

Jeremy is a Water Company Account Manager for the Environment Agency, based in National Operations. Jeremy is the single point of contact for South West Water and has oversight of the full range of environmental disciplines relevant to the company: Water Quality, Water Resources, Flood Risk Management, Price Review/AMP and Environmental Performance, including compliance with Environment Agency permits, pollutions and self reporting. Jeremy also supports Executive Directors in the Environment Agency in their annual performance meetings with SWW’s CEO. Jeremy will try to ensure the best outcomes for the environment, whilst articulating the benefits for society in doing so.

Prior to the Water Company Account Manager role, Jeremy was a Programme Manager working on Water Framework Directive and River Basin Planning and has held leadership roles in the Environment Agency’s national water quality team and local area teams. Before working for the Environment Agency, Jeremy worked as a Freshwater Conservation Officer for English Nature in the Lake District.

Jeremy is a Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) and has a Master of Science (MSc) degree from Imperial College London.


Richard Lacey - Chair Customer View Group

Richard Lacey was appointed as a Commissioner in October 2004.He is a Chartered Civil Engineer with a lifetime’s experience in the Water Supply Industry both in the UK and overseas, where he has held both Executive and Non-Executive Directorships in Water Companies.

Following early retirement from corporate life he set up his own consulting practice and worked for several years for the United Nations and European Union in Kosovo to restructure the water industry of Kosovo. Richard now holds several non Executive directorships in the voluntary sector to which he devotes about 50% of his time.


Steve Meakin - Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau

After completing his education at Imperial College for 20 years Steve had a successful career self in the retail sector.

He now devotes his time to the voluntary sector with a particular interest in debt advice. Following initial training in at Kerrier Citizens Advice Bureau Steve became a Legal Aid debt caseworker where he initiated the court desk system in Cornwall which assists those not legally represented in housing repossession cases. He now works at Plymouth CAB as the Money Advice Coordinator for Devon and Cornwall responsible for the development of money advice in the two counties.

Until recently stepping down Steve was Chair of the Institute of Money Advisers the professional body representing over 1700 money advisers working to alleviate the distress caused by problem debt and is a trustee of CAB Cornwall.