Ofwat appoints new chairman

Secretary of state, Owen Paterson, has announced that Jonson Cox has been appointed the new Non-Executive Chairman of the Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat).

Mr Cox will take up the role as designate on October 1 2012 and will then assume full responsibility on November 1 2012. Mr Cox replaces former Ofwat leader Philip Fletcher.

Owen Paterson said: “Jonson’s broad ranging experience, in the water sector and elsewhere, will be invaluable. This is an important time for the water sector, with the challenge of ensuring customers continue to get a fair deal and high standards of service and of building resilience for the future.

“I look forward to working with Jonson as he leads Ofwat’s board into the next price review and tackles these issues”.

Commenting on his appointment, Jonson Cox said: “The water industry in England and Wales provides a vital and essential public service.

“I look forward as chairman to playing my part in ensuring that Ofwat provides effective and progressive economic regulation of the sector, and in these difficult times, that customers get the best possible deal.”

Speaking in a confirmation hearing in front of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs select committee back in July 2012, Mr Cox defined the role of Ofwat chairman as “advisor, coach and challenger” to the water industry regulator’s chief executive Regina Finn, but said it was important “not to try to do the chief executive’s job”.

Leigh Stringer

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