Thousands of jobs could be supported by Southern Water scheme

Daily Echo: Multi-billion pound water plan in the pipeline Multi-billion pound water plan in the pipeline

A MULTI-BILLION-pound plan to deliver better water services across the south looks set to support thousands of jobs across the region.

Southern Water has published its plan to deliver better water and wastewater services to customers in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight following 18-months of research and engagement with more than 25,000 customers in the south east.

The firm says the £3.2 billion plan will support an estimated 6,000 jobs across the south.

The improvements will include 90 per cent of customers’ queries resolved the first time they contact Southern Water, a 25 per cent reduction in sewer flooding inside people’s homes and business, a further reduction in leakage of two million litres a day, and a reduction of 15 litres per person, per day average use.

Average bills will increase at below the rate of inflation The final business plan for 2015 to 2020 will see average bills increase at below the rate of inflation.

The plans have been submitted to water industry regulator Ofwat to detail and assess the proposals.

Matthew Wright, Southern Water’s chief executive, said: “We are confident this is the right plan for our customers. The promises we are making about the services we will deliver have been shaped by them through our most extensive engagement programme ever.

“I would like to thank all of our customers and stakeholders for the input and challenge they have provided. Detailed research carried out during the public consultation on our draft plan showed 90 per cent of customers support our proposals.

“As we developed our plan, we were fully aware of the tough economic conditions which are making life difficult for a number of our customers. We have worked hard to do all we can to balance the need to deliver the improved services customers want, cater for a growing population in our region, safeguard the environment and make sure everyone can afford their bills.

“We have set ourselves an ambitious target of making nearly £200 million in efficiency savings between 2015 and 2020 – that amounts to about £20 per year for every household we serve.”

Anna Bradley, independent chair of the Southern Water Customer Challenge Group, said: “We welcome the way Southern Water has worked with us over the past two years, embracing our advice and responding to our challenge to ensure customers’ and stakeholders’ views have shaped this new plan.”

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