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Water Act 2003

102. .Section 35 and Schedule 2: Consumer Council for Water.

This section adds two new sections 27A and 27B and a new Schedule 3A to the Water Industry Act 1991.

103.The intention of this section (along with Schedule 2) is to establish a new independent Consumer Council for Water (CCW), which may be known as ‘Cyngor Defnyddwyr Dŵr’ in Welsh.

104.Subsection (1) adds new sections 27A and 27B to the WIA. New section 27A creates the CCW as a body corporate and requires the Council to allocate undertakers to regional committees.

105.Subsections (4) to (6) in new section 27A give the Secretary of State and the Assembly (for undertakers wholly or mainly operating in Wales) power to direct the allocation of undertakers to regional committees for a six month period. Thereafter the Council may establish or abolish a regional committee, or alter an undertaker’s allocation, only with the consent of the Secretary of State or Assembly.

106.Subsections (9) to (13) in new section 27A set out the remit of regional committees and provides definitions of ‘consumers’, ‘the interests of consumers’ and ‘consumer matter’ in relation to the Council’s responsibilities. Broadly, the interests of consumers mean the interests of existing and future consumers of water and sewerage services (via the public networks). Subsection (12) adds a duty for the Council, to exercise and perform its duties in a manner that is best calculated to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.

107.New section 27B requires the Council to make arrangements with the Authority, the Assembly and the Secretary of State to secure co-operation and to exchange information, and for consistent treatment of matters of concern. Arrangements are to be set out in a Memorandum of Understanding and are to be kept under review by the parties. Every memorandum should be circulated to the other bodies, and the Secretary of State is required to lay a copy of each memorandum before each House of Parliament.

108.Subsection (2) adds Schedule 3A to the WIA. This provides for the internal operation of the Council, including membership of the Council and the terms of appointment and remuneration of members, staff, annual reports to the Secretary of State, financial provisions and accounts, and committees, including regional committees.

109.Subsection (3) abolishes the existing customer service committees.

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