5 November 2010

Scottish Water Bill

The Scottish Government will consult on additional measures to be included in the proposed Scottish Water Bill, Ministers confirmed today.

The Bill is intended to enable Scottish Water to evolve into a more dynamic organisation better able to exploit its assets and Scotland's water resources to their fullest extent for the continuing benefit of water customers, the environment and the wider Scottish economy.

Ministers wish to enhance these proposals with additional measures and the timing of the proposed consultation will enable the Scottish Government to consider the relevance of any new borrowing measures emerging from the UK Government's proposed Scotland Bill.

In a letter to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, Stewart Stevenson said the Consultation will be launched before the end of the month.

The Infrastructure Minister said:

"The Government has decided to increase its ambition for the Scottish Water Bill, enabling a more extensive role for Scottish Water as a publicly owned company.

"In his statement on the legislative programme on 8 September 2010, the First Minister set out his vision for the future of the water industry in Scotland. In preparing the Scottish Water Bill, Ministers have recognised we can be even more ambitious in our plans.

"We therefore believe that it would be appropriate to enable a full consultation on our proposals, and will launch the process before the end of this month, prior to introducing the Bill to Parliament.

"We will bring forward the full detail of our plans shortly, and of course the consultation will also enable us to test whether any borrowing measures that come forward in the UK Government's Scotland Bill are of any practical use in this or any other regard."

The First Minister set out the intention to introduce a Scottish Water Bill in his Programme for Government 2010-11 in September.

Further details on the Bill will be available when the consultation is published.
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