Independent Customer Group

The Independent Customer Group has been established to ensure the needs and expectations of Scottish Water’s customers and communities are identified, articulated, and advanced as we work to achieve the objectives set out in our Strategic Plan and the water sector Vision.

Comprising of ten externally recruited members with a broad range of backgrounds, it draws on the experience of the Customer Forum during the Strategic Review of Charges. The Forum played a key role in bringing customers' views into both the SR15 and SR21 reviews.

Agnes Robson, a former member of the Customer Forum and Chair of the Interim Customer Group, has been appointed as the new Chair of the group.

She is joined by three former Customer Forum and Interim Group members and six new members from outside of the industry.

Members:

Agnes Robson, Edinburgh. Chair of the Group – Former Customer Forum member and Chair

Agnes was a member of the Customer Forum since its inception, became Vice Chair in 2019 and Chair in 2020. She also served as Chair of the Interim Customer Group.

Agnes is a former senior civil servant with extensive experience in the public sector particularly in the fields of energy, health and urban policy. As Head of the Corporate Services Department, she was a member of the (then) Scottish Executive’s main management board. She is a volunteer adviser with Citizens Advice and a former non- executive director and Chair of Citizens Advice Scotland. She has also held non-executive Directorships on the Scottish Health Council and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra; and is currently Vice Chair of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Bob Wilson, Sunderland – Former Customer Forum member

An Electrical Engineer who worked around the world including serving as Chief Electrical Officer on the much-targeted tanker transferring potable water to troop-ships throughout the Falklands War.

Bob led the B2B division of Anglian Water for 20+ years, advocating for competition and water efficiency. After doubling turnover, winning the largest retail contract in the UK at Scottish market opening, creating an energy retail business and leading the company in a strategic merger, he retired in 2018.

From the north-east of England, Bob is an active member of the Hylton Castle Trust board leading on the marketing aspects of this unique building set to open in 2021 which is half a mile from Bob’s lifelong home.

 

Sue Walker, Braemar – Former Customer Forum member

Sue’s background is in water and environmental management. She worked for almost 20 years in the water industry in North West England for a public water authority, privatised water company and environmental regulator.

On moving to Braemar, she became a Board Member of North of Scotland Water Authority and held a range of non-executive positions including as a Board Member of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency. She was a Member of Waterwatch Scotland and the previous Customer Forums.

Sue is currently a Board Member of Food Standards Scotland, Member of Boundaries Scotland and Member of the Boundary Commission for Scotland.


Andrew Faulk, Aberfoyle – Former Customer Forum member

After a land surveying degree, Andrew spent three years working in the construction sector, and then moved to the environmental policy sector, with NGOs, local authorities and as a consultant. On a joint SNH / SEPA project, he developed and helped implement Scottish approaches to the integration of environmental and economic policies in EU structural funds for ten years.

For the last twelve years he has worked on shaping consumer, energy and climate change policy, initially for Consumer Focus Scotland, and then on a self-employed basis. He joined the Scottish Water Customer Forum in 2017.

He is secretary of his local community development trust and lives in Aberfoyle.


Stephen Oswald, Edinburgh – New member

Stephen formerly worked in the property and construction industries. He is currently Chair at Places for People Scotland and a Trustee of Edinburgh Palette, a charity which provides low cost studio, business incubation and office space to artists, entrepreneurs and community organisations.

He is passionate about creating sustainable environments that enable people to thrive and communities to flourish by considering the development and delivery of services more holistically.

Stephen has been involved in lobbying government about improving the integration between public services. He is also a champion for greater transparency and efficiency with regards the procurement and delivery of public projects.


Heather Dickson, Glasgow – New member

Heather’s work history has consisted of senior leadership and management roles in a range of social enterprise, non-profit, and public sector organisations. As well as stakeholder management and European funding roles, her non-profit and social enterprise roles have been with organisations that focused on improving mental health and wellbeing; supporting victims of crime; and community engagement / capacity building.

For the past 25 years she has listened to and engaged with clients, customers, and communities, striving to improve access to services. 


Gordon Matheson CBE, Glasgow – New member

Gordon Matheson CBE was the Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau during the acclaimed 2014 Commonwealth Games. He is currently Head of Scottish Affairs for the General Dental Council and previously managed the policy, communications, and government relations functions in Scotland for Cancer Research UK and RNIB.

Gordon is a graduate of Glasgow and Strathclyde universities, a chartered fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, and in 2016 was appointed visiting professor in Strathclyde university’s Institute for Future Cities. He has extensive committee and non-executive board experience.


Jamie Stewart, Edinburgh – New member

Jamie is currently Deputy Director at the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Strathclyde. With over 12 years’ experience working in the energy and climate sectors, he has particular research and policy expertise in regulation, heat decarbonisation, energy efficiency, energy networks and infrastructure development. 

He holds a Doctorate in Carbon Capture and Storage and started his career as a researcher at the University of Edinburgh. 

Jamie also worked for Citizens Advice Scotland for a number of years, where his role focussed on consumer advocacy in the energy sector.

He has held positions on several industry and Government advisory groups such as SGN's Customer Engagement Group and National Grid's Electricity System Operator Stakeholder Group. 



Fergus Watson, Gleneagles – New member

Fergus’s career has taken him from Scotland to the Midlands in England and back again, working within management in the Industrial and Food and Drink Sectors.

On returning to Scotland, Fergus has worked in a number of business development roles with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Business Gateway network, and more recently has deployed his management and business development skills as a self-employed consultant and Director of Café Sia, a growing hospitality business on Skye.

Fergus has a passion for Scotland and the tourism industry working with tourism businesses supporting their growth and development.


Lyndsey Stainton, Dunblane – New member

Lyndsey works for Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Distribution business who own and operate two licensed electricity distribution networks in the north of Scotland and central southern England to deliver power to over 3.8 million homes and businesses.

Having spent over 20 years in the electricity industry, Lyndsey has a strong background in a range of roles across energy trading, retail marketing and networks. Lyndsey currently leads the Stakeholder Engagement function and has a passion for delivering high quality stakeholder and consumer engagements, ensuring stakeholders voices are heard and acted upon.