Back in June- before a Summer dominated by talk of supply shortages and hosepipe bans- Susan Davy, the CFO of Pennon told Financial Director something very interesting.

She revealed that the idea of a mutual-style ownership model that the owner of South-West water had been working on had gained some traction with some senior Labour politicians.

She said despite their outward commitment to nationalisation of the party’s hard-liners should the party gain power, others were taking note.

In the current political climate its hard to see where things will go next, but certainly Davy and her team were on to something.

There’s clearly a lack of trust between the public and the water companies that Labour is tapping into- and the other parties are very mindful of.

This week three of the big UK water companies announced plans to hold down or cut bills while reducing leaks- while the biggest Thames Water, said it would will return £20m to shareholders compared to the £100m it returned last year.

The announcements came as part of the 2019 price review held by the industry watchdog, Ofwat, in which water companies have been required to outline a business plan, detailing how they will charge customers between 2020 and 2025.

Pennon’s is by far the most interesting- perhaps going furthest to interpret a future political and social landscape in which its survival might be challenged.

Bear in mind South West Water’s bills have been on average the highest in the country, despite it being in the region with the one of the weakest economies, that will lose EU subsidies soon after Brexit kicks in.

Factor in also that Pennon is one of the biggest employers in the region and it all starts looking a bit topsy-turvy- which is why some creative thinking on the part of Davy and her team has come about.