A new Challenge Co-ordination Group has been established by CCW, with Caroline Warner appointed as its independent chair. Developed using intelligence and feedback from PR19, the role of the group is to facilitate more consistent local challenge of water companies in the development of their 2025-2030 business plans. Its aim is to empower effective local challenge, which in turn should help the companies produce higher quality business plans.
Providing a forum for local challenge groups to share comparative information on companies’ performance, the Challenge Co-ordination Group (COG) will help them form a rounded picture of industry-wide standards to inform their local scrutiny and challenge of PR24 business plans. Its membership will consist of Chairs and/or representatives from companies’ local challenge groups. The COG will also be a platform for identifying and sharing good practice in areas such as customer engagement, as well as innovative approaches to service delivery.
Caroline has significant experience across a wide range of private and public sectors at a senior level. In her executive career she has managed well-known brand businesses for global companies. As a non-executive she has worked in several public service sectors including education, local government and the NHS. Caroline also served as a CCW Consumer Advocate during the last price review. She is currently Chair of Affinity Water’s Customer Challenge Group.
Dr Mike Keil, Director of Policy, Research and Campaigns at CCW, said: “Our survey of Customer Challenge Group members at the end of PR19 revealed how many members felt they would benefit from access to more comparative information about how companies are serving their customers and the environment, and greater visibility of company business plan proposals across the sector. Maintaining the independence of local challenge is important to us, and we’re delighted to welcome Caroline Warner as the Independent Chair of the Challenge Co-ordination Group.”
Commenting on her appointment, Caroline Warner said: “I am delighted to have been appointed as the Independent Chair for the Challenge Co-ordination Group for the water industry. National alignment for customer challenge and insight will be beneficial for PR24 and beyond. Our group will consider a full range of issues that matter to citizens from affordable bills to environmental protection. We plan to work with companies, regulators and other stakeholders to influence the best possible outcomes for current and future water customers across England and Wales”.
The Challenge Co-ordination Group’s inaugural meeting was on 20 April, and it will meet regularly throughout the PR24 process.