Customer Scrutiny Panel

The Customer Scrutiny Panel (CSP) has a key role to act as a champion for the customers of SES Water and to make sure that the company understands what customers expect from their water company. The CSP, including the CSP Chair, is independent from both SES Water and Ofwat, although it has a close working relationship with both organisations. It brings together stakeholders that reflect the interests and expectations of our customers (e.g. Consumer Council for Water, Environment Agency, SE Rivers Trust, Citizens Advice, Local Councils), as well as independent members that have a customer’s perspective to contribute.

Meet the panel members.

Every water company in England and Wales has a similar committee set up to carry out three core roles:

  • To independently assure Ofwat of the quality of the customer engagement with SES Water customers in identifying and analysing their views, priorities and preferences.
  • To scrutinise and challenge the company on the extent to which the results of this engagement are driving the company’s decision making and being reflected in the company’s Business Plan.
  • To scrutinise and challenge the company on its performance, and in particular on its progress against the performance commitments and promises it made in its 2015 to 2020 business plan.

The panel’s terms of reference provides further detail on the key aims and objectives of the group.

A particular recent focus of the CSP has been to advise, scrutinise and challenge the company in the development of its 2020 to 2025 Business Plan, including the provision of independent assurance to Ofwat via submission of the Customer Scrutiny Panel report. See below regarding the CSP Chair’s introduction to the report.

A summary of each panel meeting can be found below. Here is a summary of commonly used terms and acronyms that feature in these summaries.

If you would like to know more about the Panel and its work or enquire about joining, please get in touch by emailing

CSP Report to Ofwat regarding the SES Water 2020-25 Business Plan

The CSP is able to confirm to Ofwat that as a result of its involvement and analysis, it can provide positive assurance that SES Water has engaged effectively with its customers; that its plan does reflect identified customer priorities; and that the resulting impact on bills appropriately accounts for the views of its customers.

The CSP notes positively that the final version of the SES Water Business Plan is of a high quality, and SES Water has taken good account of CSP feedback.

As Chairman of the Customer Scrutiny Panel (CSP) for SES Water, I am delighted to present this assurance report (Customer Scrutiny Panel report), on behalf of my Panel members, in support of the company’s 2020-2025 Business Plan. The report sets out the evidence of how the CSP has performed its role to advise, scrutinise and challenge the company on the quality of it’s customer engagement and the extent to which this is reflected in the development of the Business Plan, in line with the guidance provided by Ofwat.

The CSP is pleased to report that there has been a positive working relationship between SES Water and the CSP, and that the CSP has been given adequate and appropriate access to company information and personnel in order to carry out its work in line with Ofwat’s guidance and objectives. The CSP provided robust challenge and advice to SES Water throughout the process, as detailed in the CSP Report. SES Water has welcomed and acted on the advice and input of the CSP, and agreed, where appropriate, amendments to its plans.

The CSP Report identifies a limited number of remaining challenge areas and points of note, for Ofwat’s consideration, but overall the CSP, as a result of its analysis and discussion, can conclude positively that;

  • The Customer Engagement process undertaken by SES Water was comprehensive and effective, and the CSP was involved at all stages.
  • SES Water has provided sufficient evidence that it understands its customers and stakeholders, and an appropriate set of customer priorities was identified and tested.
  • The process enabled SES Water to define a realistic package of options with which to engage effectively with customers for acceptability testing,
  • The SES Water Business Plan includes a well-constructed range of detailed plans, actions and commitments that refer to, and take account of, appropriate customer engagement
  • SES Water ensured that there was good engagement with customers on acceptability testing of the overall Business Plan, and clear linkages of customer feedback and support to stretching Plan commitments and the overall bill impact acceptability.

The CSP therefore is pleased to commend the SES Water Business Plan, and welcomes the focus on;

  • Further reductions in interruptions, mains bursts and leakage
  • Investments in improving overall water network resilience
  • Doubling the number of customers supported by the social tariff
  • Actions to further protect and enhance the environment
  • Efficiency savings, innovation and investment to achieve the above improvements while reducing bills. 

Going forward we will continue to robustly monitor and challenge SES Water on the progress of the Plan implementation.

I hope, therefore, that you will find both the SES Water Business Plan and the CSP Report on the Business Plan helpful documents in assuring you of the quality and robustness of the process and outputs.

Graham Hanson

Chair, Customer Scrutiny Panel for SES Water

Customer Scrutiny Panel Meeting Summaries

Quarter 4 2018-19 meeting summary (April 2019)

Quarter 3 2018-19 meeting summary (February 2019)

Quarter 2 2018-19 meeting summary (October 2018)

Quarter 1 2018-19 meeting summary (August 2018)

Interim meeting summary (20 July 2018)

Interim meeting summary (3 July 2018)

Interim meeting summary (June 2018)

Quarter 4 2017-18 meeting summary (May 2018)

Interim meeting summary (March 2018)

Quarter 3 2017-18 meeting summary (January 2018)

Quarter 2 2017-18 meeting summary (October 2017)

Quarter 1 2017-18 meeting summary (July 2017)

Quarter 4 2016-17 meeting summary (April 2017)

Quarter 3 2016-17 meeting summary (January 2017)

Quarter 2 2016-17 meeting summary (October 2016)

Quarter 1 2016-17 meeting summary (July 2016)

Quarter 4 2015-16 meeting summary (April 2016)

Quarter 3 2015-16 meeting summary (January 2016)

Quarter 2 2015-16 meeting summary (October 2015)

Quarter 1 2015-16 meeting summary (July 2015)