Northumbrian Water boss makes 'eye-watering' salary as public water prices rise, say union

Heidi MottramHeidi Mottram
Heidi Mottram
Campaigners who want to see the water industry re-nationalised have revealed the  amount the boss of Northumbrian Water makes.

The GMB Union has revealed the CEO of Northumbrian Water, Heidi Mottram, made £953,000 in 2018 alone – an increase of 83% since 2013.

While over the past six years, the she has received more than £5.5million in salary, bonuses, pensions and other benefits. 

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Tim Roache, General Secretary of the GMB Union.Tim Roache, General Secretary of the GMB Union.
Tim Roache, General Secretary of the GMB Union.

The GMB Union say this is happening amid ‘spiralling bills and massive leaks’.

The joint investigation, which was carried out by GMB and Corporate Watch, has been published after it was revealed GMB’s Congress in Brighton this week.

The figures have been released as part of GMB’s ‘Take Back The Tap’ campaign to bring England’s privatised water industry back into public ownership.

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, said: “Thirty years on from Margaret Thatcher’s privatisation of water it’s clear this ideological experiment is a complete flop.

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“Customers are forking out millions to private water's top brass through their ever increasing bills, while billions of gallons are wasted every year and we get whacked by hosepipe bans in the summer. I'm not sure how much more evidence is needed to show that this is just not working.

“It's time to Take Back the Tap - water is a natural monopoly, that every home, family and individual needs, it should be in public hands not used for shareholder profit."

The union says that while water bosses pocketed these eye-watering sums, consumer water bills in England and Wales have increased by 40% above inflation since privatisation in 1989, according to a National Audit Office report. 

Responding to GMB’s investigation, a spokesman for Water UK said: “The GMB paints a very misleading picture of the water industry. The truth is that bills have fallen in real terms for the last five years and will continue to fall over the next five.

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“Leakage has been cut by a third since the mid-90s, and the water industry is just about to put another £50 billion of investment into the system.

“We’re delivering for customers and the environment, whereas plans for nationalisation would risk funding cuts and hit the pensions of more than 4 million public sector workers invested in the industry.”