Hosepipe Ban

Wednesday 8th June 2011

GMB congress told that parts of Midlands will see hosepipe ban in weeks unless there is persistent rain due to mismanagement of water resources in region

The management will blame the weather and will seek to divert attention from their own mismanagement that will lead to a hosepipe ban in 2 weeks unless we get heavy rain.

GMB Congress was told today that households in parts of the East and West Midlands, supplied by Severn Trent, would face a hosepipe ban n two weeks unless there is sustained heavy rain in the meantime. The parts of the region facing the hosepipe ban in two weeks are Staffordshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.

The Congress was told that the mismanagement of the water resources in the region by the senior management that was primarily to blame for the shortage of water. The introduction, by the Chief Executive Tony Wray of a new computer system called SAP (System, Application, Products) at a cost of £70millon had led to complete confusion in the scheduling of repair work and dealing with leaks has led to massive losses of water from the reservoirs since last June when it was introduced. On Monday 6th June senior management had to introduce a work around/ bypass to SAP system in order to address water leak repair lead times currently running at approximately 30 days against the target of 3 days.

The mismanagement has led to fines for delays in repairing dug up roads, under the Traffic Management Act, increasing by 25 times on the level before the system came in. Severn Trent has failed to meet the OFWAT target for interruption of supply. Over 80,000 customers lost supply for up to 6 hours in 2010/11. Often water pressure has been reduced to the bare minimum rather than the company finding and fixing the significant leaks.

The Congress was told that it would take 4 weeks of persistent rain to get the reservoirs back to where they were this time last year. Severn Trent supplies 3.7m households and businesses in West and East Midlands and Mid Wales.

Gary Smith GMB national secretary said: “Introducing the SAP system has led to water draining out of the reservoirs as the delay in fixing the leaks stretched out to 30 days compared with the target of 3 days. The management will blame the weather and will seek to divert attention from their own mismanagement that will lead to a hosepipe ban in 2 weeks unless we get heavy rain. The morale of the 6,000 workers at Severn Trent is an all-time low due this mismanagement. A recent survey showed that only 38% of the employees think the senior managers are providing effective leadership. The workers have co-operated with significant management led changes despite being getting rises below inflation for the past three years. Now the management want to close the final salary pension scheme on the grounds that they cannot afford it. What a blow to a loyal workforce in this monopoly service transferred to the private sector where the executives and shareholders have gouged themselves at the expense of their customers and workers. Mismanagement and greed are a poor combination when running vital services for the public. They take us for “Saps”.”