CITY DIARY

Is there no end to Yorkshire Water putting its size nines where they are not needed? Following revelations that millions of gallons each day are lost through leaky old pipes throughout the country, the water company has sent a hand-delivered missive to all its customers detailing how water should be saved during the hot weather. Waste-prevention suggestions include the fixing of all leaky washers on taps.

No doubt Sheffield MP Helen Jackson, who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Water Group, will be relieved by this suggested bout of water-saving DIY, as Ms Jackson's recent report revealed that Yorkshire Water lost 100 million gallons of water a day through leaky pipes.

Those with big money to spend usually do it over the phone. But buyers of fine art are now being encouraged to tune into newtechnology to make their sale-room selection.

Auctions On-Line is the brainchild of James Corsellis and Simon Montford, and links auction houses from the UK, the US and Europe.

UK auctioneers Phillips and Bonhams are already sold on the idea of getting their catalogues on-line.

While a Monet down your modem might be possible, however, net surfers will have to wait longer before actual bidding goes on-line.

But if you prefer a round of golf to surfing the net for your next Rembrandt, the company also plans to launch a travel gateway incorporating hotels, resorts and golf courses in September.

Less-than-fancy footwork on the tennis court means that David Horgan, finance director of the Dublin-based exploration group Kenmare Resources, will be travelling up the aisle in a wheelchair.

Mr Horgan is due to marry at a ceremony in Country Wicklow this Friday, but yesterday found himself under the surgeon's knife having his Achilles tendon stitched back together.

A colleague of Mr Horgan's says the wedding is still on. At least the plaster should be set by Friday. Let's hope his bride, Fiona, is an understanding woman.

Dr Roger Urwin, the chief executive of London Electricity, who managed a modest 2.9 per cent rise on his basic salary in June despite a 15.2 per cent rise in the company's profits, yesterday resigned from the company that styles itself "London's favourite utility" to join the National Grid Company as managing director.

Mr Urwin has spent six years with London Electricity, first as managing director and then as chief executive, and he was previously executive director of operations at Midlands Electricity.

Michael Kersey, who joined London Electricity as energy services director at the beginning of 1994, will replace Mr Urwin when the latter leaves the company in mid-September. Suitably, Mr Kersey is the beneficiary of the only share options issued by London Electricity in the past two years.

Labour yesterday published what it claimed was a damaging Sea Containers announcement on bids for passenger rail franchises in the UK, issued in Bermuda, but which Henry "Scoop" McLeish, the party's transport spokesman, claimed had gone unnoticed in Britain.

Among other things, the document that Labour obtained revealed that Sea Containers did not think that this form of privatisation would work unless franchise owners also controlled the track, which runs right against government policy.

Could this be the very same press release that we reported after Sea Containers had sent it to all national newspapers at the end of July?

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