Non-bill payers invited to consumer forum on Irish Water

Non-bill payers invited to consumer forum on Irish Water

An independent group is being set up to represent the views of consumers in dealing with Irish Water.

The 32-member group will include people from sectors like agriculture, the disabled and consumer groups.

Chairman of the Public Water Forum, Dr Tom Collins, says homeowners who refuse to pay water bills or register with Irish Water can also apply to join it.

He has told the Irish Independent he is not interested in presiding over a "community of believers".

He has reportedly waived his proposed annual fee to head the new group, which will feed into the work of Irish Water and the Commission for Energy Regulation.

Applications to join the forum will be sought from today.

Dr Collins said: "There has been, for whatever reason, failure on the part of wider Irish society to recognise that water is scarce, essential and vulnerable.

"That should concentrate the public mind. It should never be a private asset, it should be a public good.

"There is a low level of collective awareness. The Government and Irish Water were part of a failure which is wider and more long-term. Local authorities could also have done more over the years in this area.

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