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NI Water chief 'regrets' row that saw taps go dry

By John Mulgrew

Published 29/09/2015

Northern Ireland Water's boss said yesterday there was "much regret" over the pension chaos that rocked the firm this year.

The State-owned company was thrown into disarray in December and January after industrial action caused by a dispute over pension changes.

The row saw Sara Venning and former chairman Sean Hogan heavily criticised after thousands were left without water.

Ms Venning said: "That was a situation which caused much regret, but the resolution of the causes of that dispute means we can renew our focus on ensuring that we continue to improve the service we provide."

Ms Venning was speaking after NI Water's 2014/15 annual report showed a small dip in its profits and turnover, with pre-tax figures of £131m.

Economist John Simpson said that "the continuing crisis in the finances of the NI Executive also looms large for NI Water". He added: "The annual report draws attention to the squeeze on current funding which, the report says, would require further reductions in operating costs 'which would almost certainly have resulted in reductions in service provision to business and domestic customers alike'."

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