Welsh Water: Cutbacks, outsourcing, rising bills and big bonuses
Dr Mike Brooker is a member of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland. Initially a scientist, he became Chief Scientist and subsequently Divisional Operations Director of Welsh Water (Dwr Cymru) before becoming Managing Director in 1996 and retiring in 2005. As Managing Director at Welsh Water he oversaw a massive outsourcing of work from their organisation to others, including Thames Water, Kelda, United Utillities, Amec, Black & Veatch Contracting, Costain, Laing Utilities, Meica Process and Morrison Construction . After retiring he was embroiled in controversey after being paid a large bonus, alongside two colleagues, whilst bills were rising and 70,000 people were having to boil their water for weeks on end in Wales . The trends displayed by Welsh Water under Mr Brookers stewardship, of Outsourcing, downsizing and big bonuses to management for their overseeing of such change, are currently being repeated in Scotland, advanced by, amongst others, the Water Industry Commission for Scotland.
Alongside his role as member of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland he is a non-exec Director of OFWAT, the economic regulator for the privatised water industry in England and Wales. He was appointed to the board of OFWAT in 2007. According to Phillip Fletcher - the then OFWAT Chairman- "The appointments of Mike Brooker and Gill Owen will add to the expertise of the current Ofwat Board in continuing to protect consumers' interests, regulate the water industry in a fair and balanced way, promote competition wherever appropriate and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development." . There are many who consider such aims to be contradictory and that the promotion of 'competition wherever appropriate' is not necessarily conducive to customers interests and sustainable (environmental) development: of course providing its sustainable ecological development thats being referred to in the first place.
- Natural Environment Research Council, Swindon
- Water Services Regulation Authority, Birmingham
- Company Secretary (unpaid) of SRB Associates (24/08/07) 'No conflict of interest perceived' (the Managing Director is one Simon Brooker)
- Western Mail, ‘CUTTING COSTS AND IMPROVING SERVICE; OUTSOURCING: DR CYMRU CONCENTRATES ON MANAGING WELL ITS POUNDS 2BN ASSETS’, July 11th 2001, p6
- Western Mail 17th December 2004, 'Thames Picks Up the Bills for Welsh', Accessed 6th September 2008
- Western Mail (January 17, 2006), 'WATER BOSSES IN 'FAT CATS' CASH STORM: Bonuses for some while others fight bug', Accessed 6th September 2008
- M2 Presswire, (January 11th 2007), 'UK Government: Two new members appointed to Ofwat Board', Accessed 6th September 2008
- Register of Interests of Members and ExecutivesSigned: Mike Brooker Date: 01/02/2007