Westminster Business Forum

Conferences that are scheduled to take place before September will be conducted online.
The format will mirror physical conferences organised by the Forum with speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish.
The conferences will be chaired and there will be opportunities for delegate questions and comments.
We will be contacting all participants in advance of each conference with full information and guidance on how to take part.
There will be some exceptions where conferences will be postponed, for instance those that would largely involve key stakeholders in the NHS or emergency services.
All participants affected by this will be informed as soon as possible.
If you’d like to speak to us over the phone about any booking-related queries, please call one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +044 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244

The future regulatory framework for essential services - infrastructure investment, innovation and value for consumers

November 2019

The seminar focused on the future shape of regulation across the telecoms, water and energy sectors.

The conference brought together stakeholders with key policymakers to discuss options for reform as the Government considers its formal response to the NIC review on regulated industries.

Delegates discussed the likely impact on competition and innovation in the regulated sectors.

The agenda

Keynote sessions:

  • The findings and recommendations of the NIC’s Regulation Study - with Tim Cowen, Partner, Preiskell & Co
  • Energy prepayment price cap review and the changing role of the CMA - with Gavin Knott, Director, Remedies, Business and Financial Analysis, CMA;
  • Measuring the performance of regulators - accommodating the needs of providers and protecting vulnerable consumers - with Rich Sullivan-Jones, Audit Manager, Regulation, Consumers and Competition, National Audit Office.

Panel discussions:

  • Designing regulatory systems that deliver greater innovation, investment in infrastructure and value for consumers - with Emily Keaney, UK Regulators’ Network; David Rodman, Virgin Media and Noel Beale, Burges Salmon and
  • The future shape of utilities regulation, digitalisation and the treatment of data - with Chris Pickard, Economic Insight; Harry Armstrong, Nesta; Chris Harris, NPower; Audrey Gallacher, Energy UK and Clive Carter, Ofcom.

Delegates examined the options for the future shape of the regulatory models - including the potential for a new single ‘super-regulator’ for essential services in order to deliver greater collaboration in areas such as data sharing, addressing cross-cutting policy issues and major infrastructure projects - and respective implications for the roles of Ofcom, Ofwat and Ofgem.

Attendees considered whether Ofgem’s new, more stringent tests for smaller energy companies go far enough to protect consumers from poor customer service and unsustainable pricing, or whether more checks should be introduced on those suppliers already in the market, ensuring they remain fit for purpose.

The seminar provided an opportunity to discuss how regulators, government and utilities companies need to adapt in light of these challenges and foster innovation within industry.

Delegates also considered the impact any proposed regulatory reform may have on the attractiveness of UK energy, telecoms or water markets for private investors as well as how the regulatory system can better incentivise long-term investment in key infrastructure improvements.

Delegates  discussed the significant difficulties facing consumers from rising bills to the impact of services failure.

There was discussion around the duty of regulators and utilities companies towards consumers and how the regulators measure and report transparently their intentions in meeting their duties towards consumers.

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

Shortly after every Westminster Business Forum seminar, a briefing document is produced. This is distributed to all delegates on the day as well as to our policymaker contacts in government, and to stakeholders more widely.

A seminar publication provides a timely record of proceedings, and acts as a guide to the latest thinking on current policy issues for those unable to be at the event.

This publication includes


Contributions from keynotes and panellists, including accompanying slides*
*Subject to approval

Delegate Pack

Information from the day, including delegate list, biographies and agenda


Transcript of questions and comments posed to speakers from attending delegates


Supplementary articles from speakers
and delegates