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A damning report should spell the end of England’s privatised water industry

The chief executive of the public regulator of private water companies in England and Wales (Ofwat) says the companies “have ‘created the perfect conditions for renationalization” as a result of their own actions. Writing in The Canary, James Aitchison says a damning report should spell the end of England's privatized water industry. “The report, by the University of Greenwich Public Services International Research Unit, compared the privatised English water industry with the public Scottish industry. It provides compelling proof that the privatized water industry in England is inefficient, unnecessarily overpriced, and benefits shareholders at the expense of consumers.” [The Privatised Water Industry in the UK: An ATM for Investors, by Karol Yearwood, September 2018]

Let’s take back what’s ours!

In the wake of a £120 million fine levied against Thames Water by Britain’s regulatory authority for failing to stop leaks, critics are calling for the water system to be brought back into municipal operation. “But if the minister thinks a slap on the wrist will be enough to make Thames Water mend its ways—or even its pipes—he hasn’t been doing his homework. A firm with monopoly control of the supply of water to the capital, which registered operating profits of over £600m last year and which has paid out billions in dividends to private shareholders even while more than doubling its long-term debt (which was over £10 billion in 2016) will hardly feel the pinch at being fined a few million. (…) Thames’s owners—a faceless coterie of Canadian pension funds, the Abu Dhabi and Kuwait investment funds, BT and the China Investment Corporation—can sleep sound in the knowledge that the privatized water supply in England and Wales will keep the payouts flowing. (…) Water belongs to us all and its supply is a natural monopoly. Let’s take back what’s ours.”

Source: Morning Star

The inspiration from the success of the remunicipalization movement in Germany

Steve Rushton of Equal Times writes that “the momentum to democratize UK public services is growing,” and it has taken inspiration from the success of the remunicipalization movement in Germany. “A key pillar of the Community Wealth Building plan is the facilitation of municipal energy companies, which connects to a wider global shift away from privatized provision,” Rushton reports. “Germany is leading the global charge in remunicipalization. Last year, the Transnational Institute detailed 835 cases of public services such as waste management, water and transport either returning from various forms of privatization (outsourcing of services, public-private partnerships, etc.) back into public hands, or cities and regions creating new local public services. Some 347 of these examples took

Source: Equal Times

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