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Water Treatment contract signals start of privatisation

31 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney commenting on the announcement that a £110 million Private Finance contract has been awarded to the Dalriada Water consortium for the delivery and running of water treatment works and associated infrastructure at sites across the north has said that the move signals the start of the privatisation of water services.

Mr McCartney said:

"Awarding this contract to a consortium that includes some of the biggest operators in the privatised water sector sends out the clearest signal that the privatisation of our water services has begun in earnest.

"Sinn Féin have huge concerns about the ability of the private sector to deliver these big public infrastructure projects. The evidence is that rather than provide anything cheaper than through traditional public procurement is that the private sector pushes costs up and rarely meets deadlines.

"One of the consortia member's Kelda Group operates Yorkshire Water. Part of its other businesses relate to the managing, developing and disposing of surplus property assets. And this gets to the heart of the 'Water Reform' agenda which is nothing short of privatisation built on asset stripping and maximising profits for private investors at the expense of local customers." ENDS

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