Date 30 November 2005
Water targets will mean flooding and pollution
UNISON the main union representing Scotland's water
staff today (Wednesday) warned that the investment targets announced
by the Water Industry Commission(WIC), can only lead to inadequate
infrastructure investment and lead to poor-quality construction
that will not last.
In many areas no renewal of old infrastructure will
be able to be made. UNISON's Scottish Organiser for Utilities, Dave
Watson said, "Today's announcement demonstrates the huge gap
between those who build and maintain Scotland's water and sewage
system and the WIC's economists, who have largely imported their
ideas from the very different, privatised system south of the border.
"We warned Ministers when they announced the
strategic direction in June that massive investment, over a short
timescale, with no real charge increase, was a 'magic circle' that
any sensible person could see could not be achieved.
"The result of that folly can be seen today.
The consequences will be an increase in internal flooding, sewer
collapse and the risk of pollution."
The unions have already commissioned a study of the
WIC's methods that has found their comparisons with England and
Wales misleading and false.
"These cloud-cuckoo economists are trying to
square the circle by cutting investment." said Dave.
"This will only deliver short-life assets of
poor quality and leave yawning gaps in provision. Scottish Water
has already made efficiency savings faster than the privatised industry
in England, and is already having to go through further increases
in charges to pay for this short-term view that is now being imported
"The real agenda behind todayıs announcement
is a further effort to undermine the Scottish public service model
and privatise Scotland's water."
For Further Information Please Contact: Dave
Watson (Scottish Organiser - Utilities) 0845 355 0845 (w) 07958
122 409 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w)
0771 558 3729(m)