Scottish Water annual report

Scottish Water has published its annual report. Lots of positive outcomes from the public service water and waste water organisation. The highlights include:

  • Customer satisfaction at record levels, with the public corporation out–performing its Customer Satisfaction Delivery Plan target by 5 per cent, its best ever score.
  • Highest ever drinking water quality, with 99.88% of samples complying with strict quality standards.
  • High investment across Scotland, with £487 million of investment in water infrastructure projects delivering benefits for customers while supporting thousands of construction jobs.
  • The lowest average combined household charges in Great Britain – £54 per annum lower than the average bill in England and Wales.
  • A huge reduction in water leaking from pipes – reaching the Economic Level of Leakage a year ahead of target.

Douglas Millican, Chief Executive of Scottish Water said:

“Scottish Water has continued to go from strength to strength in the last year as we deliver the best value water and waste water services in Great Britain. Drinking water quality is at its highest ever level, customer service has improved further, and we are delivering efficient investment in Scotland’s water and waste water infrastructure – supporting thousands of construction jobs across Scotland in the process.”

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In the year, consolidated net debt increased by £39.6 million to £2,912.2 million (2012: £2,872.6 million). The increase was driven by additional borrowing from the Scottish Government of £100.0 million, partially offset by a £60.4 million increase in cash balances to £415.6 million. Cash balances at this level highlights the need to look at different financial structures for Scottish Water, instead of the pseudo private sector model. PFI charges at £150m remain a huge burden on the industry.

Given the success of this public service it is disappointing, but not surprising, that you would be hard pressed to see that from this report. Commercial jargon continues to mask public service values.

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