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WRSE Announces New Independent Chair

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23/03/2021 News

Water Resources South East (WRSE) has appointed Chris Murray MBE as its new Independent Chair.

Chris has more than 40 years of experience in the utilities sector as a Chairman, non-executive director and Chief Executive Officer, including senior director roles at National Grid and as CEO at Phoenix Natural Gas and Xoserve. He currently holds Non-Executive Director positions at the Low Carbon Contracts Company, The Electricity Settlements Company, Mutual Energy Limited and the Leicestershire Hospice. He is also a Special Adviser to the Board of the Energy & Utility Skills Company.

He will replace Simon Cocks who has chaired the organisation since 2016 and announced his intention to stand down last year. It comes ahead of the development of WRSE’s first multi-sector, regional resilience plan which will published for consultation in 2022. The plan could lead to £17 billion of investment in water resources over the next 75 years, to provide more resilient water supplies to all, deliver an improved and protected environment and contribute to the green recovery. 

Announcing Chris Murray’s appointment, Ian McAulay, CEO of Southern Water, said: “Chris is a great fit at what is a critical point in the journey to build the resilience of the nation’s water supplies. The challenges we face in the South East are of a greater magnitude than most other the parts of the country and it is going to take collaboration and joined up thinking if we are going to identify the right solutions for customers, the environment and society.

“Chris’s wealth of experience means he is well placed to lead the organisation into the next phase of the plan and beyond, as we work together with our fellow regional groups, water industry regulators and a wide range of stakeholders to deliver secure and resilient water resources for the future.

“As we welcome Chris, I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Simon Cocks for his contribution and commitment. He has been an integral part of the important transition that is underway to improve how we plan and deliver future water resources.  He has shown great vision and leadership, both to WRSE and the wider industry.”

Chris, who will formally join WRSE in April, said: “I am both delighted and excited to be joining the WRSE team. The challenges we face are substantial, but the size of the prize is enormous, and I look forward to working with everyone around the WRSE table and beyond, as we strive to deliver our shared goals through the development of this ambitious regional plan.”

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