Pembroke: Battler of the first water

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The Independent Online
Things are looking up for Diana Scott, who used to chair Ofwat's customer services committee in Yorkshire. A consumers' champion in the traditional mould, the outspoken Ms Scott is trying to clamber on to the board of Yorkshire Water in the interests of local tap users.

Yorkshire Water is unimpressed by Ms Scott. But yesterday the mother of three, who was sacked by Ofwat's chairman, Ian Byatt, in February, won the backing of North Yorkshire County Council.

The board of the troubled water company is not yet quaking in its wellington boots. The county council owns 146,000 shares - or 0.0007 per cent.

The Sixties teenybop idol Adam Faith is dabbling in the business world again. The former newspaper columnist and Lloyd's name is to front a new business television programme on BBC2.

Working Lunch goes out every lunchtime from next Monday. 'It's simple,' says Paul Gibbs, its editor. 'You take the bosses, the experts and the workers from all over the country and bring them together on air.'

Well, it should be lively.

They are taking a break on the 6,500-mile Black Country to Black Sea narrow boat journey, being undertaken as a publicity stunt for the Midlands brewer Wolverhampton & Dudley. The expedition's two narrow boats, skippered by adventuring eccentric Nick Sanders, have ground to a halt just above the City Road Basin lock.

The craft started out from Wolverhampton in June and came to London via the Grand Union Canal. They will cross the Channel in October and make their way to the Black Sea via Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Vienna, Budapest and Belgrade.

The boats are named Unspoilt by Progress I and II. But, having taken three months to get to London, there must be a case for renaming them Untroubled by Progress.

Positively revelling in the embarrassment of the humiliated economic pundits, the Daily Telegraph yesterday devoted valuable space to an attempt to convince its dwindling band of readers that it had correctly predicted the interest rate rise - a piece worthy of a Booker prize entry.

Certainly the ramblings will have come as a surprise to those who read the paper last Thursday. A prominent report concluded: 'The Chancellor, Kenneth Clarke, and the Bank of England Governor, Eddie George, met yesterday and are thought to have decided to hold interest rates unchanged at least until they meet again on 26 September.'

Neither is all well on the paper's City Diary. Contradicting reports that Rocco Forte had been lobbying to install Sir Michael Richardson as chairman of the Savoy, the clueless scribe claimed this could not be the case since Mr Forte was in Scotland. And this from a column that uses a telephone for its logo.