MP RICHARD Foord has slammed ‘eye-watering payouts’ by water companies as it was revealed South West Water (SWW) paid its executives nearly £1.2 million in salary and perks last year.

New analysis of Company House records showed collectively the country’s water industry paid a staggering £10 million in executive salaries last year - the highest on record.

Liberal Democrat Mr Foord represents Culm Valley communities and the area around Burlescombe and Holcombe Rogus until he switches constituencies at the next General Election.

He said SWW rewarded two executives with £784,000 in base pay and more than £400,000 in bonuses and pensions.

This was despite the firm pumping raw sewage into local rivers, including the Culm, and onto beaches.

Since 2020, executives at the water firm have awarded themselves more than £5.8 million in pay and perks.

Liberal Democrats have called for a ban on all chief executive bonuses in the water industry, as well as for the firms to be reformed as ‘public benefit companies’.

The reforms would put an end to ‘profit before the environment’ and ensure the company boards included environmental experts.

Mr Foord MP said: “Our local waterways have been subject to unauthorised sewage spills, and this while the water firm hand its top bosses insulting pay-outs.

“These salaries and perks have reached eye-watering levels, yet Ministers refuse to act.

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

“Everyone here in our corner of Devon knows the scale of the problem, and yet the Government seems to take little interest.

“The water industry in the UK has become a gravy train where sewage and money flow freely.

“These bonuses and perks should not be possible at a time when the sewage scandal continues.

“Bonuses should be a reward for success, not for committing environmental damage.

“It is also time to ensure that South West Water can no longer put profit before the environment.

“The firm is clearly not working in the way that it should and is not listening to local concerns on sewage discharges.”