A HAMPSHIRE water provider has been named as the worst performing supplier in England and Wales for the fifth successive year.

Southern Water, which provide water services for Hampshire as well the Isle of Wight and two other counties, has “a lot of work to do” according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCW).

Despite the ranking, the CCW said Southern Water had reduced written complaints by almost 45 per cent across 2016 and 2017 - to 8,773.

It comes as the latest annual figures are released by the CCW, the water watchdog.

Southern Water said they welcomed the drop in written complaints amid the “rapidly improving” company.

The CCW praised Southern’s progress, but said further improvements needed to be made.

Sir Tony Redmond, London and South East chair for CCW said: “We are encouraged by Southern’s improvement but its performance remains poor in comparison to the rest of the industry.

“There is a lot more work to be done by the company.”

Southern also reported a 54 per cent increase in “unwanted contacts”, where its customers had to pick up the phone to resolve an issue.

Between 2015 and 2016, more than 143,000 people contacted the company, but for the latest set of figures, that rose to more than 220,000.

It leaves them with the most unwanted contacts per 10,000 properties they connect than any other water and sewage company in England and Wales.

Southern Water said this was due to a change in the way in which is reports its results.

Chief customer officer at Southern Water, Simon Oates said: “Despite this 45 per cent reduction we are still at the foot of the industry league tables, so we’ll continue to work closely with our colleagues at CCW to drive forward further improvements.

"We want to reassure our customers we’re building on the significant improvements we have already made, and bringing our performance up to the standard they quite rightly expect from us.”

Despite the progress in reducing written complaints, they also sit bottom in terms of the ratio of written complaints per 10,000 properties.

The watchdog said: “CCW will continue to press Southern Water to make further improvements after it was named the worst performing water company in England and Wales for the fifth successive year.”

“It has a lot more to do to curb the number of complaints it receives from customers, despite taking an important step in the right direction.”