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UK growth forecast upgraded by IMF; John Allan to step down early as Barratt chair – business live

Today’s IMF report shows “a big upgrade to the UK’s growth forecast” says Jeremy Hunt, after annual healthcheck on Britain’s economy

Shares in Pennon Group, which owns South West Water, have dropped over 2.5% this morning after regulators launched an enforcement probe into water leakage.

Pennon told shareholders that Ofwat have announced an investigation into South West Water’s 2021/22 operational performance data relating to leakage and per capita consumption.

This operational performance data was reported in South West Water’s Annual Performance Report 2021/22. This report is subject to rigorous assurance processes which include independent checks and balances carried out by external technical auditor.

We will work openly and constructively with Ofwat to comply with the formal notice issued to South West Water as part of this investigation.

We want to be held to account …” said Ruth Kelly, the new public face of the English water companies, last week, briefly raising hopes of a moment of reckoning for the industry’s past (and current) sewage spills. Then the chair of Water UK clarified what her version of accountability covers. The companies wish to be held to account “… for putting it right”.

The past 30 years, we were invited to think, should be considered an unfortunate chapter in which the industry, terribly unfortunately, didn’t give sewage spills enough attention while other investments were prioritised. That was the gist of her apology. “By and large, the water companies were carrying out their legal responsibilities but … what’s legal is not necessarily the right answer or what people expect,” she argued on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

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