It comes as the Liberal Democrats in Parliament tabled a Bill calling on the failing Thames Water to be reformed from top to bottom.
The call would transform the firm into a “Public Good Company”. Under the plans, water firms would no longer prioritise profit over the environment. The companies’ boards would be reformed, to include environment experts, and become far more open and transparent to the public. Currently, water firms are not obligated under law to provide information to the public, and can refuse to answer Environmental Requests for Information.
Thames Water (Public Benefit Corporation) Bill
A Bill to establish a new model of company structure for Thames Water, to be called a public benefit corporation; to require that public benefit corporation to consider public policy benefits, including reducing leaks and sewage dumping, as well as returns for shareholders; to limit the payment of dividends until a plan is in place to cut the corporation’s debt; and to require membership of the corporation’s board to include representatives of local environment groups.
Commenting, Tom Gordon Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesperson for Harrogate and Knaresborough said:
These private water companies are turning over massive dividends to shareholders, putting themselves into billions of pounds of debt and failing to deliver a good service to local people. Because of this and a complete failure from the Government, we have seen major under investment in the infrastructure.
Water firms must change. For too long they have been putting profits before getting the basic services right, Yorkshire Water, along with the other water companies, needs reforming top to bottom.
Cllr Hannah Gostlow, NY Councillor for Knaresborough East said:
We have a real issue with how our water is managed, it is not acceptable that sewage enters our rivers so regularly and Water companies say they don’t have money to stop it. All the while paying out huge sums in bonuses, benefits and incentives.
|Water & Sewage Company Executive Remuneration 2021/22|
|Company||Number of Execs||Base Pay||Bonuses, Benefits and Incentives||Pension||Total Exec Remuneration per Company|
|Severn Trent Water||2||£1,209,200||£4,558,200||£221,300||£5,988,700|
|South West Water||2||£410,000||£788,000||£54,000||£1,252,000|
|Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water||2||£595,000||£394,000||£130,000||£1,119,000|
|Total (England + Wales)||22||£8,809,765||£14,781,059||£1,343,472||£24,934,296|
|N.B. This remuneration also includes former executives who quit during the year 2021/22|