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Blackpool Council Demonstrates Public Sector Leadership

Blackpool Council Beach

Blackpool Council has been awarded a water self-supply licence by Ofwat. It is the first public sector organisation to take this innovative approach towards water and wastewater procurement.  The announcement follows indications by the water industry regulator that it is keen to support self-supply initiatives, having witnessed its potential benefits over the last 12 months.

The licence gives Blackpool Council the green light to buy water supply and wastewater services directly from wholesaler United Utilities for its buildings and associated premises, but it will manage its own retail services for over 120 sites across the borough. Waterscan will take on the role and responsibilities for the water retail functions, help deliver cost savings and efficiencies direct with the wholesaler, provide effective water consumption management and ensure compliance with relevant regulatory codes.

Neil Pendle, Managing Director at Waterscan is delighted to be partnering with Blackpool Council and United Utilities on this public sector first. He said: “Having had considerable success with self-supply in the private sector, we are keen to demonstrate how the public sector can play an active role in, and benefit from, the new open water market and we hope more public sector organisations follow suit.”

He continued: “We are confident that significant cost and water consumption savings can be achieved through self-supply, with the potential for further savings through efficiency projects and effective water stewardship. We estimate that this initiative will deliver cost savings in the region of £200,000 over three years and £50,000 in the first year alone.  Equally importantly, the public sector now has a voice at the Self-Supply Users Forum which will help shape the future water market across England and Wales.”

Emma Kelso, Ofwat’s Senior Director for Customers and Casework, added: “The water retail market offers eligible businesses of all sizes an opportunity to renegotiate their water services with their existing supplier or shop around for a better deal. Some larger organisations are starting to see the benefits that self-supply can bring – such as more control and reduced costs and we expect more public bodies to follow Blackpool Council’s lead.”

Cllr Fred Jackson, Cabinet Member Responsible for the Environment at Blackpool Borough Council, said: “This is an exciting initiative and we are looking forward to the opportunities that a self-supply licence offers us in managing our water usage responsibly,

He continued: “We are confident that significant cost and water consumption savings can be achieved through self-supply, with the potential for further savings through efficiency projects and effective water stewardship. We estimate that this initiative will deliver cost savings in the region of £200,000 over three years and £50,000 in the first year alone.  Equally importantly, the public sector now has a voice at the Self-Supply Users Forum which will help shape the future water market across England and Wales.”

Emma Kelso, Ofwat’s Senior Director for Customers and Casework, added: “The water retail market offers eligible businesses of all sizes an opportunity to renegotiate their water services with their existing supplier or shop around for a better deal. Some larger organisations are starting to see the benefits that self-supply can bring – such as more control and reduced costs and we expect more public bodies to follow Blackpool Council’s lead.”

Cllr Fred Jackson, Cabinet Member Responsible for the Environment at Blackpool Borough Council, said: “This is an exciting initiative and we are looking forward to the opportunities that a self-supply licence offers us in managing our water usage responsibly, efficiently and cost-effectively.”