A new independent Chair of Northumbrian Water Group’s Water Forums has been appointed and will lead his first meeting today.
Jim Dixon will chair two panels representing customers that challenge and guide Northumbrian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water
Water Forums bring together people from the wide range of different organisations relevant to water and sewerage planning. They help ensure Northumbrian Water Group decisions reflect customers’ views, particularly on issues that may impact on standards of service or the level of customers’ bills. The Water Forums also recognise and take into account the legal obligations faced by the company such as new drinking water quality and environmental standards.
The Forums offer structured, informed and rigorous challenge to help NWG maintain its resilience, accountability and focus on the needs of its customers.
Jim Dixon is a highly experienced leader who has experienced a successful executive career focusing on the environment.
He has a reputation for effective leadership of change, practical innovation and great partnership working. He currently holds non-executive roles in heritage and public administration and has advised governments, agencies, voluntary bodies and business.
Jim has worked with the Royal Household, Number 10, Cabinet Ministers and their senior advisers, Chairs of National Agencies including Visit England and Britain, the Environment Agency and Natural England as well as charities such as Business in the Community, Age UK, the RSPB and the National Trust.
Northumbrian Water Group Chief Executive Officer, Heidi Mottram, welcomed his appointment: “This is a time of significant change for the water industry and I’m delighted that Jim has agreed to be our independent Chair.
“We are passionate about providing our customers with an unrivalled experience and the very best service. Water Forums offer an important independent view of our business that helps us to improve and provide the very best service we can. Jim will be an outstanding customer champion, who will challenge us on the decisions we make and help our customers remain at the heart of everything we do. ”
Jim Dixon added: “I am very pleased to have been appointed as the Independent Chair of the Northumbrian and Essex and Suffolk Water Forums. The Forums have an important role to play in helping to assure that NWG is supplying as good a service to its customers as possible. The operating environment, customers’ expectations and the regulatory world change constantly. A company like NWG has to adjust, grow and respond to its customers’ ever-changing needs.
“The Northumbrian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water Forums bring together a group of diverse stakeholders, with expert knowledge, to create the best possible environment for challenge. We will draw on the statutory expertise in OFWAT, the Consumer Council for Water, the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Drinking Water Inspectorate, as well as from Local Authorities, the community and third sector groups and business.
“I have been very impressed so far with the professionalism of all of the staff that I have met. My first impressions are of a commitment to serving customers, of working together as one team and being a good partner to other organisations and the community. As the Forums develop, I want to test out these impressions and use data and the expertise of other Forum members to probe and test the assumptions, plans and performance of Northumbrian Water Group.”
Jim Dixon biography
Jim Dixon has had a 35 year career in countryside management, public administration and heritage management. He has held senior roles in the RSPB, Natural England’s predecessor organisations and within Defra.
For 12 years until 2014 he was Chief Executive of the Peak District National Park Authority and for four years, led the 15 UK National Parks.
Currently he is a Non-Executive Director, with roles in the NHS and as a Trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund. He has business interests in tourism and writes a monthly column on nature and landscapes for The Times.
Jim has an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Derby, where he is a visiting researcher, is Vice Chair of a school governing body and Patron of a small national charity which promotes accessibility in the countryside. He is a Member of the World Commission on Protected Areas and an Adviser to Visit Britain.