I do not support the return of water to public ownership. The cost of doing so would be a significant factor, which is subject to differing opinions (with some believing that it would cost the public purse tens of billions of pounds).
Industry investment since privatisation has been more than £130 billion and the regulatory framework is an important safeguard which enables the public to ensure that services are delivered effectively and at the best possible price.
I am encouraged that companies plan to invest £8 billion in this financial year alone and a further £50 billion over the next five years, improving services, while reducing customer bills on average by 4 per cent in real terms by 2025.
Locally, I believe we are well served by our water companies. I recently met with Anglian Water, who this month become the first water company to embed public interest into its core work, including social and environmental objectives. Further information is available here
In relation to EDM 1761, as a rule, I do not sign EDMs as they are affectionately referred to as ‘parliamentary graffiti’. This is because once tabled, it is the up to the Whips to allocate parliamentary time to debate the motions. Due to the already-full parliamentary calendar, this means such motions are rarely allocated time.