Chief executives of three British water companies forgo their 2023 bonuses

Chief executives of three British water companies forgo their 2022 bonuses

SUSAN DAVY: Chief executive of Pennon Group, South West Water’s owners Photo credit: Ofwat

THREE water company chiefs have rejected their bonuses this year.

Nicola Shaw (Yorkshire Water), Sarah Bentley (Thames Water) and Susan Davy (South West Water) have all recognised the public’s anger over the amount of dumped sewage that has reached Britain’s rivers and coastal waters.

She understood the “strength of feeling,” Nicola Shaw said on announcing that she would not accept her first bonus since joining the company in May last year.  This would have been between £600,000 (€691,671) and £800,000 (€922,072) based on Yorkshire Water’s annual accounts.

“It just did not feel like the right thing to take performance-related pay this year,” said Sarah Bentley who last year received £496,000 (€571,714) while Thames Water’s chief financial officer, Alastair Cochran, who received £298,000 (€343,442, also turned down his 2022-23 payout.

“This is the right thing to do. We’re listening to our customers, we get it,” said Susan Davy, whose company spilled untreated sewage 37,649 times last year. Davy runs Pennon Group, owner of South West Water, and has turned down a pay rise for the last two years.

Chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water, Emma Clancy, applauded the executives’ decisions.

“Our recent research, Bridging the Gap, shows that bonuses add to people’s current frustration with the water industry,” she said. “This announcement shows that people’s concerns are being listened to.”

The Financial Times reported on May 8  that Britain’s privatised water and sewage companies paid £1.4 billion (€1.6 billion) in dividends in 2022, an increase from £540 million (€662.2 million) in 2021.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at