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Water Act 2003

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

43General functions of the Council

This section has no associated Explanatory Notes

(1)After section 27B of the WIA (which is inserted by section 35) there is inserted—

General functions of the Council
27CThe interests of consumers

(1)In considering the interests of consumers, the Council shall have regard to the interests of—

(a)individuals who are disabled or chronically sick;

(b)individuals of pensionable age;

(c)individuals with low incomes;

(d)individuals residing in rural areas; and

(e)customers, of companies holding an appointment under Chapter 1 of Part 2 of this Act, whose premises are not eligible to be supplied by a licensed water supplier,

but that is not to be taken as implying that regard may not be had to the interests of other descriptions of consumer.

(2)For the purposes of subsection (1) above, premises are not eligible to be supplied by a licensed water supplier if—

(a)they are household premises (as defined in section 17C above); or

(b)the total quantity of water estimated to be supplied to the premises annually for the purposes of subsection (2) of section 17D above is less than the quantity specified in that subsection.

27DAcquisition and review of information

The Council shall have the function of obtaining and keeping under review—

(a)information about consumer matters (including matters affecting consumers in different areas); and

(b)information about the views of consumers on such matters (including the views of consumers in different areas).

27EProvision of advice and information to public authorities

(1)The Council shall have the function of—

(a)making proposals, or providing advice and information, about consumer matters (including matters affecting consumers in different areas); and

(b)representing the views of consumers on such matters (including the views of consumers in different areas),

to public authorities, companies holding an appointment under Chapter 1 of this Part, licensed water suppliers and other persons whose activities may affect the interests of consumers.

(2)Subject to subsection (7) below, information which relates to the affairs of any particular individual or body of persons (corporate or unincorporate) shall not be disclosed in the exercise of the Council’s function under this section unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (3) below applies to the information.

(3)Information relating to a particular individual or body may be disclosed if—

(a)the individual or body has consented to the disclosure;

(b)it is information that is available to the public from some other source; or

(c)it is not information the disclosure of which would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of the individual or body.

(4)Before deciding to disclose any information relating to a particular individual or body in pursuance of subsection (3)(c) above, the Council shall—

(a)consult that individual or body; and

(b)have regard to any opinion expressed by the Authority as to the application of subsection (3)(c) above to the information or as to the desirability or otherwise of its disclosure;

and paragraph (b) applies whether the opinion is given in relation to the information itself or to information of a description which applies to that information.

(5)Subject to subsection (7) below, the Council shall not in the exercise of its function under this section disclose any information which it considers relates to any matter which is, or is likely to be, the subject of criminal proceedings.

(6)In considering whether information relates to any matter as mentioned in subsection (5) above, the Council shall have regard to any opinion expressed (whether in relation to the information itself or to information of a description which applies to that information) by the Secretary of State, the Assembly or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(7)Subsections (2) to (5) above do not apply to a disclosure of information which is made to the Authority, the Secretary of State, the Assembly, the Competition Commission or any other public authority.

(8)The disclosure by the Council of information in the exercise of its function under this section does not contravene section 206 below (restriction on disclosure of information).

27FProvision of information to consumers

(1)The Council has the function of providing information to consumers about consumer matters in such form as appears to the Council to be most useful to the recipients.

(2)That function may be exercised by—

(a)publishing information in any manner the Council thinks appropriate for the purpose of bringing it to the attention of those likely to be interested; or

(b)furnishing information to any consumer (whether in response to a request or otherwise).

(3)Information may only be disclosed in the exercise of that function if it is information that is available to members of the public from some other source.

(4)The Council shall maintain at least one office in each of England and Wales at which consumers may apply for information.

27GPower to publish information and advice about consumer matters

(1)If it appears to the Council that the publication of any advice and information about consumer matters (including information about the views of consumers on such matters) would promote the interests of consumers, the Council may publish that advice or information in such manner as it thinks fit.

(2)Information which relates to the affairs of any particular individual or body of persons (corporate or unincorporate) shall not be published in the exercise of the Council’s function under this section unless one or more of paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (3) below applies to the information.

(3)Information relating to a particular individual or body may be published if—

(a)the individual or body has consented to the publication;

(b)it is information that is available to the public from some other source; or

(c)it is not information the publication of which would or might, in the opinion of the Council, seriously and prejudicially affect the interests of the individual or body.

(4)Before deciding to publish any information relating to a particular individual or body in pursuance of subsection (3)(c) above, the Council shall—

(a)consult that individual or body; and

(b)have regard to any opinion expressed by the Authority as to the application of subsection (3)(c) above to the information or as to the desirability or otherwise of its publication;

and paragraph (b) applies whether the opinion is given in relation to the information itself or to information of a description which applies to that information.

(5)The Council shall not in the exercise of its function under this section publish any information which it considers relates to any matter which is, or is likely to be, the subject of criminal proceedings.

(6)In considering whether information relates to any matter as mentioned in subsection (5) above, the Council shall have regard to any opinion expressed (whether in relation to the information itself or to information of a description which applies to that information) by the Secretary of State, the Assembly or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(7)The publication of information under this section does not contravene section 206 below (restriction on disclosure of information).

(2)Before section 30A of the WIA there is inserted—

Further functions of Authority
30ZADuty to consult Council

(1)It shall be the duty of the Authority to consult the Council in relation to the exercise of each of its functions, except where—

(a)the Council has indicated to the Authority (whether specifically or generally) that it does not wish to be consulted; or

(b)the Authority considers that it would be clearly inappropriate to consult the Council.

(2)That duty is in addition to any duty on the Authority to consult the Council which is provided for elsewhere.

30ZBCopies of notices

Where the Authority is required by any provision of this Act to publish a notice or any other document, it shall send a copy of the document to the Council.

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