Plaid Cymru’s North Wales AM Llyr Gruffydd has called for assurances on jobs and services after it emerged that a new bid for Dee Valley Water had been made.
A fresh bid for the Wrexham-based water firm by Ancala, a private equity firm, would – if accepted – trump a previous bid by Severn Trent Water that threatened jobs and local suppliers.
Llyr Gruffydd said: “The takeover bid by Severn Trent was a direct threat to many of the company’s workers and local suppliers. It would have seen the end of the company as a separate entity and that’s why I and the local workforce were so concerned.
“This new bid by Ancala would, is successful, safeguard Dee Valley Water as a distinct company and that is to be welcomed. But there remain questions to be answered by the new bidders about guarantees to maintain jobs, local suppliers and the current quality of customer services.
“I’ve now written to Ancala’s vice-president Tim Power asking for more information and will continue to work on behalf of Dee Valley Water staff to ensure that the current level of service and employment are maintained. He has responded positively this morning and promised to meet me at the earliest opportunity.”
Mr Gruffydd added, “There are wider implications to this whole episode. This process has happened without any involvement or say by either the workforce or consumers. This is not a factory making widgets that we’re talking about – it’s an essential Welsh natural resource and I think we need to start a conversation about how we need all water in Wales to be run for the benefit of the people of Wales rather than be at the mercy of aggressive takeovers and outside interests. This is as good a time as any to ask: for whose benefit should water services in Wales be operating?”