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27/03/15 11:40

New Chair appointed to the Board of Scottish Water

The Deputy First Minister and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy, John Swinney today announced the appointment of Lady Susan Rice to succeed Ronnie Mercer as the new Chair of the Board of Scottish Water from June 1, 2015. Mr Swinney, welcoming the appointment, said

“I am delighted to welcome Lady Rice as Chair of Scottish Water. She brings with her unparalleled skills and experience at the very highest level. Her demonstrable leadership qualities bode well for Scottish Water in striving to continue to build on the success so far achieved in delivering a first class public water service in Scotland. I have no doubt that she has the attributes and drive to succeed in a very challenging period for Scottish Water over the next few years.

Whilst welcoming Susan I would like also to recognise the significant role played by the outgoing Chair, Ronnie Mercer. He has served the maximum two full terms allowed and during his tenure Scottish Water has gone from strength to strength and is now on a par with the top private water companies in England and Wales, providing one of the best value-for-money water services in the UK. The First Minister, myself and many of my Cabinet colleagues have enjoyed the experience of working closely with Ronnie during his nine-year long spell as Chair of Scottish Water and they share my deep appreciation of his exceptional contribution to water services in Scotland which was recognised by the award of a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for 2013.”

Lady Rice said

"This role will leverage my experience on the boards of energy, retail and finance companies, my interest in resources and environmental matters, and a keen understanding that there's little that can be more important to the people of any country than plentiful and safe water. I look forward to playing my part in such an important enterprise."

Lady Rice is Chair of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and is a Non-Executive Director of Sainsbury’s. She was a member of the recent First Minister’s Council of Economic Advisors, Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland and was previously Chief Executive and then Chairman of Lloyds TSB Scotland plc. She has also held a range of other senior non-executive appointments including a seven year term as a non-executive Director of the Bank of England and 11 years as a non-executive Director of SSE, a utility cum infrastructure business with many of the same characteristics as a water company.


Notes to editors

This appointment will be for four years and will run from June 1, 2015 to May 31, 2019.

This appointment is part-time and attracts remuneration of £764 per day for a time commitment of 2½ days per week.

This appointment is regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.

Other Ministerial Appointments

Lady Rice was recommended by the Finance Minister last summer to become Chair of the new Scottish Fiscal Commission. Her appointment was approved by Parliament. This role is not compensated.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity within the last five years (if there is any to be declared) to be made public.

Lady Rice has not undertaken any political activity in the last five years.

Scottish Water

Scottish Water is a publicly owned business which operates within a framework of objectives set by Scottish Ministers to provide vital water and sewerage services to the Scottish people. With an annual turnover of more than £1 billion, it is the fourth largest water and wastewater service provider in the UK and one of Scotland’s largest businesses by turnover. Scottish Water provides 1.3 billion litres of high quality drinking water every day and nearly one billion litres of wastewater are taken away and treated before being returned to the rivers and seas.

The Scottish Water Board comprises of a Chair and Non-Executive Members who are appointed by the Scottish Ministers and Executive Members including the Chief Executive who are appointed by Scottish Water.

The Role of the Board (among other things) is to:

  • Provide strategic guidance and direction to Scottish Water.
  • Demonstrate high standards of corporate governance.
  • Oversee the delivery of Scottish Waters Regulatory outputs.
  • Ensure statutory requirements in relation to the use of public funds are complied with.