The Cave Review on Competition and Innovation in the Water Industry

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2009 Water & Environment Service Group Conference
4 March 2009

Conference endorses UNISON’s submission to the Cave review that set out the union’s opposition to the introduction of competition in the water industry of England and Wales.

Conference is alarmed to note the interim recommendations of the Cave Review in support of a limited introduction of competition into the retail of bulk water to commercial customers. Although Cave does not advocate competition in the domestic market he does not rule it out for the future.

Conference believes that if competition was allowed to operate for bulk commercial supplies it would simply be a matter of time before it was extended to domestic customers.

Competition would lead to the fragmentation of companies and would threaten jobs, conditions and pensions. Moreover according to CC Water there is insufficient evidence to support such a move and there is no proof that it would lead to more innovation and a better service to customers.

Conference instructs the Executive to:

i)Continue campaigning against the proposals for competition;

ii)Lobby Government and Parliament to alert them to the dangers and consequences;

iii)Work with branches to defend jobs, conditions and pensions and to spread UNISON’s message to all water employers.