The chairman of an inquiry set up by Yorkshire Water to look at ways of
avoiding a repeat of the mistakes made during last year’s drought has
turned to London firm Scope Comunications for PR advice.
Professor John Uff QC brought the agency in two weeks ago shortly after
his appointment by Yorkshire Water Services.
Richard Aldwinckle, dep-uty chief executive of Scope, said he thought it
was the first time a mainstream PR firm had been asked to assist a
public inquiry in this way.
The aim of the inquiry is to look at the ‘lessons to be learned from the
1995 drought’ - during which Yorkshire Water was forced to spend pounds
2 million a week bringing water in by tanker. It will also ‘identify a
range of options for future design standards governing public water
supplies.’ The public hearings will be held in Leeds between 18 and 29
March and Yorkshire has promised to publish the results by 30 April.
Scope was one of several firms recommended to Uff by Yorkshire Water’s
director of corporate communications Margaret Stewart. She insisted,
however, that Yorkshire Water had no part in the operation of the
inquiry beyond funding it and that Scope’s appointment was completely