§ Mr. Oaten
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 29 January 2001,Official Report, column 21W, on water meters, if he will publish Ofwat's letter to water companies on water meters and the responses received. 
Mr. Robert Ainsworth
[holding answer 26 February 2001]: I understand from the Director General of Water Services that the letters referred to were not only about metering but dealt with a wide range of issues in companies' charges schemes. Some of this information concerning companies' planning, costs and revenues was discussed in confidence and is commercially sensitive. It would be inappropriate, therefore, to publish the correspondence.
However I have asked the Director General to write to the hon. Member to explain the action taken by Ofwat and he will do so very shortly. A copy of this letter will be placed on public deposit in the Ofwat library.