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Date: Fri 23 July 2010

Removal of Scottish Water from democratic control would be unwise

UNISON today urged the Scottish Government to maintain Scottish Water in public control.

The public services union rejected recent calls for any form of privatisation or mutualisation and warned that these are being promoted by vested interests.

Gerry Crawley, Regional Organiser, said:
“We are calling on Ministers to ensure that Scottish Water stays in public hands.

“The usual suspects, including the Scottish Futures Trust, have recently suggested some form of sell-off, but the people of Scotland do not want to see profiteering from such an essential public service.

“The Independent Budget Review report from the ‘three wise men’ is due next week. If it argues for some form of mutualisation or privatisation, Ministers should stand up for Scotland by keeping the nation’s greatest economic asset publicly owned.”

UNISON’s recent briefing ‘Defend Scotland’s Water’ highlighted how the pro-privatisation sharks are circling around Scottish Water and why these vested interests want it sold off at a knock-down price.

Gerry Crawley said:
“We in the trade union movement urge politicians across the political spectrum to defend Scotland’s water from the privatisation sharks.

“It’s Scotland’s water and it would be unwise to remove it from democratic control.”

Note for Editors:
1. The UNISON briefing Defend Scotland’s Water is available on the UNISONScotland website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/water/defendscotlandswater_mar2010.pdf

UNISON, along with the STUC and the other unions involved in the water industry all believe that we should join with the worldwide movement in favour of democratisation of water. The unions have produced a discussion paper It’s Scotland’s Water outlining ways to greater accountability for Scottish Water. It is available on the UNISON website at http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/water/scotland's_water.pdf

For Further Information Please Contact:
Gerry Crawley, Regional Organiser 07958 121 805 (m)
Fiona Montgomery, Communications Officer 0141 342 2877 (o) 07908 672 890 (m)
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer 0141 342 2877 (o) 07958 063 182 (m)

Stay in touch with UNISON Scotland's latest news releases on our website http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/news/index.html and frequent updates on our blog http://unison-scotland.blogspot.com/