In preparation for the next price review, we are working with an independent Customer Challenge Group. Known as the Yorkshire Forum for Water Customers the group are responsible for ensuring our customers’ views are fairly reflected in our business plan and ensure we are meeting the performance commitments we have made to customers.
The Yorkshire Forum for Water Customers has a key role in helping the industry regulator, Ofwat, scrutinise our business plans. The Yorkshire Forum for Water Customers is responsible for:
- challenging the quality of our customer engagement process
- challenging how well our proposed outcomes and outcome delivery incentives reflect our customers’ views and priorities
- monitoring progress against our performance commitments
- providing an independent evaluation to Ofwat on how well we have reflected our customers’ priorities within our business plans
If you'd like to see our full terms of reference click here.
This section will provide details of the membership of the group, minutes of recent meetings and information on the challenges which the Forum have provided during our ongoing customer consultation.
To download the minutes from previous Yorkshire Forum for Water Customers meetings, please click on the links below:
The Yorkshire Forum for Water Customers is made up of a number of customer and stakeholder representative bodies. The Forum is independently chaired by Andrea Cook OBE. The full membership of the Forum is provided below:
Andrea chairs the forum, ensuring that Yorkshire Water is properly challenged over the quality of its engagement with customers, the integrity of interpretation of customer views and the proper inclusion of customer views in Yorkshire Water’s business plan. The chair is responsible for issuing a report, on behalf of customers, to Ofwat on the development and acceptability of Yorkshire Water’s business plan.
Andrea’s background is in consumer representation and regulation in the energy, financial, legal and water services sectors, with a particular interest in the needs of low income and other vulnerable people and in addressing issues of affordability. She has extensive experience as a non-executive director in the public and private sectors and has also served on key Government committees, including the UK Round Table on Sustainable Development and the Renewable Energy Advisory Committee. She has been a member of numerous international delegations on energy, the environment, poverty and employment, including the Climate Change negotiations in Kyoto in 1997. Andrea was awarded the OBE in 1990 for services to tackling fuel poverty which led to the insulation of 4 million homes. She is also currently an Independent Member of the Parole Board.
Consumer Council for Water
The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) is the independent and statutory organisation representing household and business consumers across England and Wales. It was established in 2005 to provide consumers with strong representation, including making sure their interests are at the heart of decision–making in the water industry. It works with consumers to listen to their views, answer their enquiries and resolve their complaints about water companies.
It uses evidence gained from consumer research, market intelligence, cross–utility comparisons, complaints and company performance data, as well as feedback from household and business consumers to inform its work on behalf of all water consumers. Its duty to consumers in vulnerable circumstances and the need for sustainable development (i.e. balancing economic, environmental and social aspects) underpins all its activities. In addition to its formal duties it also focuses on getting the balance right in the long term on affordability and ensuring water supplies and sewerage services are resilient in the future. There is a balance to be struck between the cost of bills now and the cost of bills for future generations.
Janine has over 8 years experience of speaking up for water consumers through her work with local water and sewerage companies, including Yorkshire Water, scrutinising and challenging their services from the customer’s perspective and encouraging them to put the consumer at the heart of their plans and decision making. She is also the lead policy manager on debt and the vulnerable in society for the Consumer Council for Water nationally. Her work presses companies to offer an affordable, easy to access and inclusive service that’s right first time.
Natural England is the government’s adviser for the natural environment in England, helping to protect England’s nature and landscapes for people to enjoy and for the services they provide. It is sponsored by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and is responsible for ensuring that England's natural environment, including its land, flora and fauna, freshwater and marine environments, geology and soils are protected and improved.
Tom is Natural England’s Senior Adviser in Water and Land Use for the Yorkshire Area, with the lead responsibility for 2019 Price Review. He has a long established overview of Natural England’s work with Yorkshire Water which dates back over 10 years. He has helped champion the environmental benefits and public value of ecosystem services, to water companies, which aim to provide positive and affordable outcomes to society. Tom is a member of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental management and Chartered Environmentalist. He aim’s, through the Yorkshire Forum for Water Customers, to establish and strengthen relationships with Yorkshire Water and Forum members in pursuit of how best it can contribute to the natural environment, whilst meeting the needs of customers.
Citizens Advice Rotherham
Citizens Advice is a charity that provides the advice people need for the problems they face and improve the policies and practices that affect people's lives. They helped 2.7 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2016-17 dealing with everything from money issues to problems at work, housing to consumer rights.
Chris is the Advice Services Director at Citizens Advice Rotherham, and their representative to Yorkshire Water. With over five years experience in the field, Chris has been working to help clients deal with the ever increasing number of issues facing them. Chris brings this experience to the group, and helps Yorkshire Water see how their impact can improve the lives of the customers who rely on them.
National Farmers Union
The NFU is the only organisation that champions all farmers and growers in England and Wales. They are here to give you a voice and protect your way of life now and in the future. The NFU’s purpose is to champion British agriculture and horticulture, to campaign for a stable and sustainable future for British farmers and to secure the best possible deal for its members. Their strength is in their numbers. With in-excess of 55,000 members, they are heard when it counts – locally, nationally and internationally. Every single member matters and makes the NFU stronger. A stronger NFU can be more influential, achieve more and give a more powerful and unified lobbying voice. Today, the NFU is the most successful representation body for agriculture and horticulture with members covering two-thirds of the agricultural land in England and Wales.
James is the Environment & Land Use adviser for the NFU in the North East Region (Yorkshire, Co. Durham and Northumberland). The role includes taking a strategic overview on matters relating to land management and the environment, including water availability, water quality, flood risk, land use, environmental schemes, planning, infrastructure, waste, climate change and adaptation. He works closely with all the Defra family (Natural England, Environment Agency, MMO and Forestry Commission), local authorities, commercial companies, Parks, Environment NGO’s, Catchment Partnerships, to name but a few. He is passionate that agri-businesses are given the opportunity to develop their business, and that the NFU lobbies for a landscape that allows this to happen, ensuring policy is rooted in the real world.
The Rivers Trust
The Rivers Trust is the umbrella body for the rivers trust movement, a network of over 50 local charities which work to protect, promote and enhance our river environments, for both people and wildlife.
As Operations Director, Alistair works within a team of five Directors of the national umbrella body, providing support to local rivers trusts to assist them in their charitable objectives, and engaging with senior decision makers to influence policy which improves rivers, and deliver finance to river improvements. He currently has oversight over three European projects delivering different aspects of innovation in catchment management including flood risk, integration with water companies and other sectors, and cross border catchment management in Ireland.
Dave act’s as an independent member of the Yorkshire Forum for Water Customers, on which he previously represented Yorkshire Local Authorities (2012 to 2015). Professionally he is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He is currently employed part time by Amey Consulting and Rail as a Principal Engineer, working on Network Rail’s 2014-2019 London North Eastern / East Midlands Bridge Assessment contract.
Dave’s civil engineering background gives him a framework to help examine the water company’s significant capital investment programme. He also brings considerable knowledge of transport, planning, environment and sustainability, flooding, policing, health & children’s services and local government issues generally from former senior roles at York City Council, and it’s unitary successor authority (City of York Council), on which he cumulatively served from 1982 – 2015. Dave also served at different times on the Yorkshire & Humber Regional Assembly, the Local Government Association (was Deputy Chair of the Environment & Regeneration Board), Yorkshire Regional Flood & Coastal Committee, with obvious crossovers to water industry issues. Finally, he also brings on-going experience knocking on a wide range of the public’s doors, picking up their concerns and problems, the pressures on their budgets, concerns about flood risk, the environment, plus experience of working with disadvantaged communities and individuals, etc..
Pam Warhurst CBE is a community leader, activist and environment worker best known for founding Incredible Edible, in Todmorden, West Yorkshire.
In addition to chairing Incredible Edible she currently chairs a landscape partnership in the north of England, Pennine Prospects and has led or occupied senior board positions in a number of bodies including the leader of a local authority, chair of a hospital trust, deputy chair of the Countryside Agency and chair of the Forestry Commission of Great Britain. Pam has also served on several regeneration bodies and social enterprises.
In 2005 she was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the environment.
The Environment Agency works to create better places for people and wildlife, and support sustainable development. We are one of the water companies’ environmental regulators and one of the statutory members of all water companies’ customer challenge groups (CCGs).
We use the opportunity of working with the Water Forum for Yorkshire Customers to review and challenge the company’s next five-year plan so that it achieves the best possible outcomes for both customers and the environment.
Melissa has more than 30 years’ experience in the Environment Agency in a range of roles and is also a member of the Northumbrian Water Forum.
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