Harrogate & Knaresborough Lib Dems call for Yorkshire Water to be turned into a “public benefit company”

30 Jun 2023

Harrogate and Knaresborough’s Liberal Democrats are calling for Yorkshire water to be turned into a public benefit company, one that puts people’s priorities first and delivers for the environment.

It comes as the Liberal Democrats in Parliament tabled a Bill calling on the failing Thames Water to be reformed from top to bottom. 

The call would transform the firm into a “Public Good Company”. Under the plans, water firms would no longer prioritise profit over the environment. The companies’ boards would be reformed, to include environment experts, and become far more open and transparent to the public. Currently, water firms are not obligated under law to provide information to the public, and can refuse to answer Environmental Requests for Information.

Commenting, Tom Gordon Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Harrogate and Knaresborough said: 

“These private water companies are turning over massive dividends to shareholders, putting themselves into billions of pounds of debt and failing to deliver a good service to local people. Because of this and a complete failure from the Government, we have seen major under investment in the infrastructure.

“Water firms must change. For too long they have been putting profits before getting the basic services right, Yorkshire Water, along with the other water companies, needs reforming top to bottom.

Cllr Hannah Gostlow, NY Councillor for Knaresborough East said “ We have a real issue with how our water is managed, it is not acceptable that sewage enters our rivers so regularly and Water companies say they don’t have money to stop it. All the while paying out huge sums in bonuses, benefits and incentives.”