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Water firms deliver on “developer services standards” promise

Water companies have delivered on their promise to compile and deliver a key set of developer services standards that can be used to compare performance across the industry says Water UK, which represents the major UK water and wastewater service suppliers. This will underpin their commitment to support and help accelerate the Government’s house building programme by providing greater transparency to help drive improvements in service levels and performance.
From April to June 2015, data published in late July shows there were nearly 127,000 separate requests for action measured by the standards from individuals, builders with small developments up to 500 plots, builders with large developments over 500 plots, and self-lay organisations.
Of these requests 118,202 related to water supply, where industry average performance was 89%, and 8,717 for sewerage services with industry average performance at 94%.
The full set of figures cover 15 water supply and 9 sewerage performance targets for a range of services including enquiries, quotations, connections, design, construction and adoption of developer laid assets across England and Wales.

Benchmarking milestone
Water UK Chief Executive, Pamela Taylor, said: “Setting and publishing water standards is the latest stage of the industry’s commitment continuously to improve services for developers. Further work is currently underway to find ways to improve interactions with the planning system as well as develop new customer satisfaction measures.”
The performance figures are available for each company and will be updated quarterly on the Water UK website www.water.org.uk/developer-services.
Commenting on the data, Richard Warneford, Chairman of Water UK’s Developer Services Standards Group said: “For the first time we have gathered and published reliable data so that stakeholders can see how well the water industry and individual companies are performing and meeting developers’ requests to provide timely water and sewerage services for their home building and other development projects.
This is very much a move in the right direction which will enable companies to compare their performance and provide a spur to improve their service and support to developers. We know there will always be more to be done and all the water companies are determined to improve service and efficiency to raise their levels of performance.”
Dave Mitchell, technical director at the Home Builders Federation said: “HBF welcomes the publication of service standards within the water sector. This is the first time that such a comprehensive range of statistics has been gathered. Such information will prove extremely useful as we look to drive up improved service levels throughout the industry.”
All 10 of the major water and sewerage companies in England and Wales are participating in the initiative as well as water only companies. Sutton and East Surrey Water has recently joined the initiative and submitted data which will be published in the next quarterly report on 29 October 2015. Water UK is also in consultation with newer entrants to the water industry with a view to them also participating.

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