South West Water slammed as execs rake in £1,188,000 despite sewage discharges

9 Nov 2023
Saunton Sands beach - Credit: Ethan Doyle White

Local Liberal Democrat candidate Ian Roome has slammed 'eye-watering payouts' as the party reveals South West Water paid their executives £1,188,000 in pay and perks last year.

New analysis of Company House records has revealed the country's water industry paid out a staggering £10 million in executive salaries last year, the highest on record.

South West Water has rewarded their two executives with a staggering £784,000 in base pay, bonuses and pensions. This is despite the firm pumping raw sewage into the local area, including Combe Martin, Ilfracombe and Lynmouth.

Since 2020, executives at the water firm have paid themselves £5,823,000 in pay and perks.

The North DevonLiberal Democrats have called for a ban on all CEO bonuses within the water industry, as well as the firms to be reformed as "public companies". The reforms would put an end to profit before the environment and ensure their boards including environmental experts.

Liberal Democrat candidate for North Devon Ian Roome said: "Our local waterways are being pumped full of raw disgusting sewage, all whilst the water firms hand themselves insulting pay-outs. The whole thing stinks. These salaries and perks have reached eye-watering levels, yet Conservative Ministers refuse to act.

"I was shocked that there was literally no mention of sewage in the King's Speech.

"It is time to rip up South West Water so it no longer puts profit before the environment. The firm is clearly not working how it should and is not listening to local concerns on sewage discharges.

"This country's water industry has become a gravy train where sewage and money flows freely. This is a scandal and happening on this government's watch.

"When will Conservative Ministers finally get tough on these polluting and profiteering firms?

"These bonuses and perks need to be banned as long as the sewage scandal continues. Bonuses should be a reward for success, not committing environmental crimes."