WATER bosses are launching a consultation to give customers the chance to suggest how the company should spend its money.
Hartlepool Water is inviting all of its customers to have a say in a seven-week consultation to see where bill payers think its priorities should lie at a challenging time for the region.
Next year the company’s regulator, Ofwat, will decide how much Hartlepool and its parent company Anglian Water are allowed to raise from bills until the end of the decade.
The company must make its case, laying out the areas it believes need investment, and needs customers’ views to help draw up its business plan.
Kevin Ensell, Hartlepool Water’s operations manager, said: “What our customers tell us really will influence our investment plans and the size of customers’ bills over the next five years.
“The more people that take part, the more weight their opinions will carry.”
Customers across Hartlepool have already been approached for their views and these have helped to shape this consultation, and a booklet and website have been created to give people the information they need.
Called ‘Discover, Discuss, Decide,’ it explains the challenges and choices the company faces right across its business.
Mr Ensell added: “In every area of work, be it maintaining our pipes, pumps and treatment works, protecting the environment, or making sure supply matches demand, we have to decide where priorities should lay.
“We have to balance people’s different needs and expectations while keeping bills fair and affordable.
“I believe the way we manage our water is the key to Hartlepool’s future success in uncertain times.
“It fundamentally affects everyone’s lives and I would urge everyone to take part in the discussion.”
The consultation runs until March 10, and residents can take part by visiting http://www.hartlepoolwater.co.uk and clicking on the ‘have your say’ button.
For a paper copy, call (01429) 858050 during office hours or call into Hartlepool Water in Lancaster Road.