water company Severn Trent Water has blamed regulator OFWAT for forcing its hand after it
announced plans to cut the workforce by 1,100 people.
The company, which has sites in Finham, Coventry and Longbridge, Warwick, has made the
move following OFWATs pricing review which was revealed last week.
The company has revealed that every one of their sites will be affected by the
redundancies at all levels of employment.
Severn Trent managing director Brian Duckworth believes that OFWATs announcement
that bills must fall by 14% from next April has left no choice.
"With some reluctance we have decided we must accept this decision. We have
already drawn up plans to meet the 5% cut in bills we had proposed, but OFWATs
demands go much further than that.
"In fact we are being asked to pass on immediately to our customers efficiencies
that we are required to make over the next five years.
"We have examined every aspect of our operations carefully, but as most of our
controllable costs are staff it is inevitable that we have to look to this area to reduce
our costs further."
The redundancies will take place over the next twelve to eighteen months, and Duckworth
is hoping that people will not have to be forced out.
"Every individual affected will have the opportunity to discuss their position on
a one to one basis with their manager before any decisions are made.
"We will of course try to achieve the cut in manpower by voluntary means wherever
we can, but compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out."
Severn Trent currently employs around 5,200 people so the news represents over a 20%
cut in staffing.
The company has invested nearly £5 billion since 1990 in water treatment sites, sewage
plants, pipes and pumps.