Embattled South West Water boss to get £300k pay rise

Embattled South West Water boss to get £300k pay rise Embattled South West Water boss to get £300k pay rise
  • Susan Davy's pay packet swelled from £543,000 to £860,000 this year

The boss of South West Water has received a £300,000 pay rise just days after a parasite outbreak left locals in Devon ill with severe dehydration and without drinking water for more than two weeks.

Susan Davy, chief executive of Pennon group which owns the water company, saw her pay packet soar to £860,000 in 2023-24 from £543,000 the previous year.

The 58 per cent jump in earnings was down to a hefty long-term performance award and must be held for two years and reinvested in Pennon stock.

The annual report showed that Ms Davy saw her base annual salary rise to £492,000 in April last year from £475,000 in 2022-23 and it was hiked again by 4 per cent to £511,290 in April this year.

It also pointed out that the boss had turned down a £237,000 annual bonus but had accepted the lucrative performance bonus.

Pennon recently courted controversy after revealing in May that it increased its full-year dividend payout to investors by 3.8 per cent, despite reducing it by £2.4 million after it was handed a record fine for sewage spills at South West Water last year.

Gary Carter, national officer of the GMB trade union, accused Pennon of 'scandalous behaviour' in increasing Ms Davy's pay package.

He said: 'Does South West Water have no shame?

'Last month increased dividends, now bigger payouts for fat cat bosses.

'This scandalous behaviour has to end - it's time Ofwat stopped water companies paying big bonuses and paying out huge dividends for such poor performances.'

The expensive pay rise comes after South West Water found that cases of pollution had risen by 80 per cent to 194 in 2023.

Around 17,000 households in the Brixham area of Devon were last month told by the firm to boil their drinking water after a parasite outbreak in their supply.

The group is paying out around £3.5 million in compensation to affected customers.

South West Water admitted it has 'more to do' to tackle sewage spills and pollution incidents, although it also said extreme wet weather was partly to blame, saying 2023 was the fifth wettest on record.

It said in its annual report: 'We know there is more to do and we continue to target a further step change in performance.'

Pennon also said on Monday that one of Deloitte's former top bosses, David Sproul, had been appointed to become its incoming chairman.

Mr Sproul, who was previously global deputy chief executive at Deloitte and is currently chairman of Starling Bank, will replace Gill Rider at the firm's annual general meeting on July 24.

A spokesman for Pennon said: 'We understand the strength of feeling from our customers and the public around the issues facing the water sector.

'For the second year running, our chief executive, alongside other members of our executive leadership team, have therefore made the personal decision to decline annual bonus for the previous financial year.'

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  • https://www.msn.com/en-ph/health/other/embattled-south-west-water-boss-to-get-300k-pay-rise/ar-BB1nXcXD

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