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Independent Review

On 11 June 2007 Regional Development Minister, Conor Murphy, announced that Professor Paddy Hillyard would chair the independent review panel to consider the future of water and sewerage services.

Panel members comprise Joan Whiteside ,Charles Coulthard. and John Fitz Gerald

Since January 2005 Professor Hillyard has held the chair of Sociology at Queens University, Belfast. Previously, he has worked in the University of Ulster and in 1976 began at University of Bristol. Following the establishment of the new School of Policy Studies in 1995, he became Director of the Centre for Research on Social Exclusion and Social Justice. Professor Hillyard moved back to Ireland in 1999 and took up the Chair in Social Policy at the University of Ulster.

Charles Coulthard retired recently as Managing Director of Gas and Electricity Regulation in Scotland. He served as Deputy Director of the Office for the Regulation of Electricity and Gas in Northern Ireland between 1992 and 1999. He is Chair of the Gas and Electricity Consumers Council in Scotland.

Mrs Joan Whiteside OBE was Chair of the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland from 1997 to 2002. Between 1992 and 1997 she acted as the first chair of the NI Consumer Committee for Electricity. Until September 2006 Mrs Whiteside was a non-executive director of the NI Authority for Energy Regulation.

John Fitz Gerald is one of Ireland's leading economists and Research Professor with the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). He leads ESRI's Energy Policy Research Centre. He is a frequent contributor to public debate on energy matters and until 2006 was a member of the Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation.

The Panels remit is set out in it's terms of reference link.

The Review is in two stages with the first strand ,on the costs of water and sewerage services, reported in October 2007. The second strand on organisation and structures, is due to report in December 2007.

Story by Information Office