Who benefits from Welsh water ownership?

Llyr Gruffydd AM has called for clarity as the bidding war for Dee Valley Water escalates: “In a little over a week we’ve seen the bidding between Severn Trent and Ancala go up from £71m to £84m. This is a vastly inflated sum for a small but important company and there is clearly a bigger agenda playing out here.

“The priority for me and Plaid Cymru is to safeguard jobs and local services in the Dee Valley Water area. It’s also to ensure that customers are protected – it’s not right that they have no say in this whole process. Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru’s leader, has made it clear that Welsh water services should be run from Wales and not from Coventry. We need to start an important conversation about who benefits from Welsh water. At the moment, I fear that it isn’t the people of Wales.

“There’s a need for greater clarity on why this takeover bidding war has escalated – why now? And who will ultimately be making money from this? Workers and suppliers deserve some security and peace of mind in the run-up to Christmas.”

Mr Gruffydd said the fact that the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had launched a Phase 1 investigation into the proposed takeover could lead to a more in-depth Phase 2 investigation: “Given the implications for the local economy and the longer-term future of the water industry in Wales, I think a Phase 2 investigation may have merit.

“Plaid Cymru is also pressing the Welsh Government to make clear its stance on this matter. Are there devolved powers that they can use and, if not, what powers are needed? We should have the power to decide on such crucial decisions rather than relying on a UK Government that would struggle to find Wrexham on a map, let alone Rhostyllen.”

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