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8 January 2019

MSP Highlights Lower Water Charges in Scotland as Buchan Water Plants Taken into Public Ownership

A move to divest waste water treatment works in the North-east away from the Private Finance Initiative to Scottish Water has been backed by Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson.

It comes after the announcement regarding the takeover of a number of sites including one in Peterhead and another in Fraserburgh.

Scottish Water took over the works from Kelda Water Services last month.

A total of 46 staff across four sites in total will continue to work on the sites following the change of ownership.

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has backed the move which will enable opportunities for Scottish Water to deliver value for customers through changes including shared purchasing with Scottish Water’s waste water operations and optimisation of the works with waste water networks.

In Scotland, Scottish Water is publicly owned compared with England and Wales where the Tory Government privatised the water companies.

A report from 2017 revealed consumers in England pay over £2.3billion more a year for their water and sewerage services under the current privatised system than if the utility companies had remained in public ownership.

The water industry in England was privatised in 1989 by the then Conservative Government and is now run as a profit-making business for shareholders where previously universal provision of drinking water and sewerage services in England and Wales was considered a public health service.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I am pleased Scottish Water will be taking over waste water treatment works in both Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

“In comparison with England, where consumers are charged extortionate rates for basic public services, we are fortunate enough in Scotland to benefit from a publicly-owned water service.

“It is typical of the Tories to seek to allow private profit from the provision of basic public services, adding unnecessary cost to household bills.”

Scottish Water Chief Executive Douglas Millican said:

“As part of our ongoing commitment to deliver value for our customers, I am pleased to have reached agreement with Kelda Water Services Ltd for the return of the Aberdeen PFI.

“Work is already underway to ensure that these facilities continue to provide a resilient and reliable waste water service to communities in the North East for many years to come”.

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