A WATER firm has defended paying one of its directors more than £10 million in the space of six years.

An investigation by union GMB found Anglian Water’s top paid director had taken home £1.9 million in 2018.

Between 2013 and 2018 this amounted to £10.5 million.

The amount included salary, bonuses, pensions and other benefits over the past six years.

GMB revealed the data as part of its Take Back The Tap campaign calling for water companies to come back under public ownership.

The union said a report by the National Audit Office showed consumer water bills have increased by 40 per cent above inflation since privatisation in 1989.

But Anglian Water, which supplies water across Colchester, said bills had fallen in the past five years.

A spokesman said: “Senior manager pay, together with any performance-related bonus, is reviewed regularly by a separate committee of our board.

“This makes sure that what we pay is comparable to similar roles in other companies, and ensures we attract the best and most talented people to help secure the future of water across our region.

“Customer bills have fallen in real terms for the last five years and will continue to fall over the next five.

“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, with Anglian Water proposing £6.5 billion alone – 30 per cent more than ever before.

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