Making a positive difference in our community
Our Community Principles
The Kelda Group provides local communities with much more than just high quality water and sewerage services.
We have an extensive engagement programme, providing support and help-in-kind to a wide variety of different organisations across the communities we serve. These partnerships are of enormous important to us in terms of forging stronger links and by making a tangible and positive difference to the quality of people's lives.
We provide this support in three key areas:
- Education - through educating young people and local communities on the value of what we do.
- Environment - playing a key role as one of Yorkshire's largest land owners in enhancing the natural and build environment.
- Empowerment - providing opportunities for our colleagues to share skills with the local community through employee supported volunteering.
We aim to do this by:
- Providing a range of educational visits into our industry, strongly aligned to the National Curriculum, through our education and outreach programme.
- Raising awareness of our capital investment programme through open days, customer events and community presentations.
- Educating customer groups through our campaign work on key issues relevant to the water industry.
- Supporting local communities through our employee supported volunteering programme.
- Providing financial support through our employee fundraising team to local and regional charities, and by offering Payroll Giving opportunities
- Recognising vulnerable customers through our Helping Hands register, providing guidance and support in respect of bill payment, and raising awareness of Bogus Caller issues.
- Communicating widely, where possible, throughout the delivery of capital investment work to deliver the best possible solution whilst minimising disruption to customers.
- Managing our impact on the local environment through our investments to coastal and river water quality, by reducing our carbon footprint, creating more of our own energy and by developing a plan to manage water supplies in the event of a drought.
- By developing sustainable environmental and community partnerships and through regular liaison with key stakeholders throughout the region and industry.
Our Community Management Targets and Outturns for 2016/17 were:
1. Impact of our extensive capital investment programme
During the year we delivered a range of capital programmes including:
- A scheme at Rivelin Water Treatment Works which was a £24m investment to improve water supplies to residents of Sheffield
- A £5m scheme to improve reservoir safety at Butterley reservoir near Marsden
- A £25m scheme to upgrade the Waste Water Treatment Works at Beverley
- Around £8m of schemes to reduce the impact of flooding on the community in Goole.
- Knostrop WTW anerobic digestion facility with an estimated value of £72m, which will generated enough renewable energy to generate 55% of the site’s energy needs
- Irton WTW - £17m scheme to improve the quality of drinking water to Scarborough
- £3.5m scheme to provide a new service reservoir for Whitby
- £2m scheme to reduce risk of sewer flooding to local homes in Queensbury, Bradford.
- Gouthwaite reservoir - £7m scheme to improve safety
- Langsett Water Treatment Works - £20m – to improve water quality
In 2016/17, our target was to deliver the required waste water standards to play our part in the Yorkshire Bathing Water Partnership's aim for 8 Blue Flags along the region's coastline and, work with the other members of the Partnership to document our shared vision and goals for the Yorkshire coast, defining our future targets.
The outputs for 2016/17 are detailed on Page 28 of the Annual Report and achieved our Performance Commitment to maintain at least 15 beaches at the Excellent or Good legislative standard, which goes beyond the minimum Sufficient Standard. Of the eight resort beaches in Yorkshire, four will be able to apply for the coveted Blue Flag in 2017. While we delivered the waste water standards required to achieve Blue Flags at all eight resort beaches in Yorkshire, third parties have more to do to meet the required standard. We continue to work closely with the EA, local councils and other key stakeholders through the Yorkshire Bathing Partnership to help in achieving eight Blue Flags in Yorkshire.
2. Supporting customers in respect of price rises, affordability and water poverty by:
- Contributing £898,000 to the Yorkshire Water Community Trust in 2016/17 which helped over 2,000 customers.
- Our Resolve enhanced scheme payment matching scheme. Over 5,000 customers made payments worth £1.3 million through Resolve, and in turn the company wrote off £2.7 million of outstanding debt during the financial year 2016/17.
- Providing the Watersure tariff to customers meeting the criteria. During 2016/17, we helped over 6,400 customers with our Watersure tariff with each customer benefitting from an average reduction in their Water Bill of £405.
- Providing a social tariff, WaterSupport, to 12,943 customers saving each household an average of £170 each.
- Offering flexible payment plans offering varying regularity of payment terms and methods
- Offering free water meters are available to all Yorkshire Water customers paying by rateable value and promoting water efficiency
- Partnering with other organisations to promote budgeting advice to customers offered by third parties such as Step Change
3. Creating greater awareness and building understanding of our services by:
- Offered an education programme, educational visits and speakers service to the community we serve.
- During 2016/17, 195 education sessions were delivered at our centres providing 4359 tour opportunities at clean and waste water treatment works.
- Our Green Classroom resource was issued to 24 schools – a total of 948 booklets being issued across the region.
- During 2016/17 our volunteer speakers attended 98 events, reaching an audience of over 6318 customers, including 41 schools.
- Course it’s better (water quality) Our ‘Course it’s better’ campaign was launched in December 2016 to increase customer engagement and customer perception of the Yorkshire Water brand. The campaign was based on the quality of our water and how proud we are of it. From the social media accounts and correspondence, we have with customers, we know that the taste of the water is one of the attributes people in Yorkshire are proud of. We wanted to share this pride by creating a fun, entertaining and engaging campaign. The tag line for the campaign was ‘Yorkshire water – course it’s better’. We used the tag line over the festive period and ran a series of fun competitions online. We then launched our video for Course it’s better in January 2017 and it went viral with 2,833,766 views and interactions 43,388 on social media. During the campaign, we had a stand at the key train stations in Yorkshire where we gave out over 7,000 bottles of water to commuters.
- Water Saving We delivered a water saving campaign to increase awareness about water usage and how customers can reduce the water they use. The campaigns also promoted the free water saving packs we provide to customers upon request. By the end of the campaign over 33,000 water saving packs were ordered against a target of 27,000. The packs were promoted at customer events over the summer, advertising in news papers and on social media and bills inserts / leaflets delivered to customer’s homes. 45 colleagues volunteered to promote water saving across 19 days at events and regional shows. Over 278,000 customers had the opportunity to see us and engage us at these events across the summer.
Free to enjoy - Recreation campaign. Our campaign named ‘Free to Enjoy’ was set up to promote recreation at our reservoirs for customers. We want to make more customers aware that there are beautiful walks around lots of our reservoirs that are accessible, child and pet friendly and are absolutely free to enjoy. We created a kids activity pack that was free to download and we promoted this with social media advertising during the summer school holiday period. The advertising of the activity pack and our recreation offering reached 558,313 people and created 3809 leads which most then went on the download the activity pack.
4. Demonstrating our large environmental responsibilities, sustainability and conservation by:
Actions delivered in 2016/17 include:
During 2016/17 we continued to play an active role in managing flood risk through our involvement in local and regional flood partnership groups, taking part in training exercises with emergency services and local resilience forums, and investing in a number of flood risk schemes in partnership with local authorities and the Environment Agency.
We continue our work to improve access to our land and reservoirs, working with the Yorkshire Dales National Park and Experience Community, an inclusive access specialist, to complete the upgrade to the path around Grimwith reservoir to make it suitable for off road wheelchairs, buggies and trikes. We have delivered year two of the four year Upper Nidderdale Landscape Partnership, working with farmers, Natural England, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and others to protect and enhance the wildlife habitats and historic artefacts of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
With our partners National Trust, Woodland Trust and White Rose Forest we are actively seeking to change land management practices to address flooding in the Calder Valley. Through natural flood management techniques being developed it is hoped that this partnership can support the local community & businesses.
The development of the Little Don Recreation Plan which will develop 3 reservoirs into a new recreational hub for the region bringing opportunities for outdoor recreational and economic growth.
We continue to support region wide efforts to tackle invasive species on and along our waterways. Invasive species such as floating pennywort out-compete our native plants and can completely choke rivers and ponds with damaging effects on native wildlife and our infrastructure as well as preventing recreational use by anglers and canoeists. We have worked with the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency and the Canal and Rivers Trust to tackle invasive species as part of a coordinated effort across the Calder, Don and Aire catchments.
Visitor satisfaction surveys were undertaken as part of the Performance Commitment. Face to face interviews were conducted during May & June 2016 at four of Yorkshire Water’s recreation sites:
- Baitings (119 interviews) Low Footfall
- Damflask (113 interviews) Medium Footfall
- Grimwith (117 interviews) Medium Footfall
- Fewston (110 interviews) High Footfall
Visitor satisfaction with recreation sites provided by Yorkshire Water is high at 97% across all four sites surveyed.
Visitor satisfaction surveys were undertaken as part of the Performance Commitment. Face to face interviews were conducted during May & June 2017 at four of Yorkshire Water’s recreation sites:
- Digley & Bilberry (99 interviews)
- Cod Beck (105 interviews)
- Tophill Low (101 interviews)
- Ingbirchworth (100 interviews)
Visitor satisfaction with recreation sites provided by Yorkshire Water remained high at 96% across all four sites surveyed.