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Watchdog has 'substantial concerns' over Anglian Water's business plan

Watchdog has 'substantial concerns' over Anglian Water's business plan Photo: PA Images

Utilities regulator Ofwat has warned Anglian Water and three other water companies that it has "substantial concerns" over their business plans for the next five years.

Anglian Water, which supplies water to 4.3 million people across the East of England, is one of the companies which have received letters from the watchdog calling on them to review their cost proposals.

Ofwat has also raised concerns over the proposed business plans of Thames Water, Yorkshire Water and SES Water.

Ofwat says it does not believe that Anglian Water's cost plans are Credit: PA Images

The regulator said Anglian, Thames and Yorkshire have asked to increase the amount they spend on wholesale water supply.

In December 2017, Ofwat told suppliers it expects them to make a step change in efficiency by 2025, the end of the next regulatory period.

It called on companies to deliver better services for customers, and protect and improve the environment, while at the same time keeping bills low.

Following scrutiny of the companies' revised proposals for the 2020-2025 regulatory period, Ofwat said it does not believe the cost plans are suitably efficient.

Anglian Water says it is confident its plan is the Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images

David Black, senior director at Ofwat, said: "We said we would scrutinise each and every plan in detail to ensure they are robust enough to deliver a high quality, affordable and resilient service to customers in the next five years and beyond.

"We are disappointed that revised proposals from Anglian Water, SES Water, Thames Water and Yorkshire Water have not yet risen to the challenge we have set them.

"For this reason, we have taken the step of writing to these four companies now to allow them additional time to reconsider and ensure they are in the best interests of customers."

– David Black, Ofwat
Anglian Water supplies 4.3 million people with water across the East of England. Credit: Chris Radburn/PA Archive/PA Images

An Anglian Water spokesperson told ITV News Anglia: “As the company serving the driest and one of the fastest growing parts of the country, we’re confident our plan is the right one to ensure a sustainable future for our region."

“Our plan was developed and supported by conversations with many thousands of customers.

“We have already provided further evidence to Ofwat to support our proposals, which Ofwat acknowledges in today’s letter that it has yet to consider fully. We will continue to share our evidence with Ofwat through the formal price review process over the coming months.”

– Anglian Water