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Water: another rhetoric/reality problem in Scotland

September 26, 2015

Student funding is not the only issue where the practice of government threatens to collide with political rhetoric in Scotland.

Another such is the provision of water services to non-domestic customers. I wrote a piece back in May about the dilemma facing the Scottish government in re-letting the contract for certain water services to the public sector (published here).

The issue remains unresolved – or at least appears to.  I’ve brought the story up to date (see here), as far as is possible from the information readily available.  In short, it is unclear who will be providing the “retail service” of water and waste water to Scotland’s schools, hospitals and other public (and some voluntary) sector bodies after next Wednesday (30 September).  Those bodies may have been told more than has been announced to the public, of course; or there may have been an announcement that even creative googling does not turn up.  Still, the absence of any evident information or debate about this is surprising, given what was in the press back in February.

Whatever is actually going on here, it offers another interesting case study of the potential for tension between expressed principles and actual decisions in contemporary Scottish government and the relatively unscrutinised context within which such tensions are being played out.


Recent PQs on this here.


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