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Water Bill consultation promised

8 November 2010

The Scottish Government is to consult on additional measures to be included in the proposed Scottish Water Bill.

The bill, part of the programme for the current session at Holyrood, is intended to enable Scottish Water to undertake more commercial activities and expolit its assets while remaining publicly owned.

Ministers wish to enhance its provisions with additional measures and the timing of the proposed consultation will enable them to consider the relevance of any new borrowing measures emerging from the UK Government's proposed Scotland Bill.

Enhanced role

In a letter to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, Infrastructure Minister Stewart Stevenson said the consultation will be launched before the end of the month.

The minister said: “The Government has decided to increase its ambition for the Scottish Water Bill, enabling a more extensive role for Scottish Water as a publicly owned company.

“In his statement on the legislative programme on 8 September 2010, the First Minister set out his vision for the future of the water industry in Scotland. In preparing the Scottish Water Bill, ministers have recognised we can be even more ambitious in our plans.

“We therefore believe that it would be appropriate to enable a full consultation on our proposals, and will launch the process before the end of this month, prior to introducing the Bill to Parliament.”

He added: “We will bring forward the full detail of our plans shortly, and of course the consultation will also enable us to test whether any borrowing measures that come forward in the UK Government's Scotland Bill are of any practical use in this or any other regard.”

Further details on the bill will be available when the consultation is published.

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