The company, which supplies drinking water to around half a million properties across Dorest, Hampshire and Wiltshire received 478 written complaints in the year ending 31 March 2011, compared with 921 in 2006-07 – a fall of 48%.

SMW’s, managing director, Roger Harrington, said: “I know that we don’t get it right all the time but when we do fail in the service in some way we are extremely keen to make sure that we learn lessons for the next time.

“However, we are pleased to have achieved a near halving of the number of complaints over five years.”

As a result of the reduction in complaints, SBW has been re-awarded the Government’s Customer Service Excellence standard.

The standard is the successor to the Charter Mark scheme and recognises excellence in public services. SBW has now received the award, and its predecessor Charter Mark, for 12 years in succession.

Mr Harrington added: “I am pleased that we have been able to demonstrate excellence in the service as measured by the Customer Service Excellence standard. It’s a credit to the efforts of all the staff here.”

Carys Matthews

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