Highest earner at Canal and River Trust was paid almost £220k last year

According to the charity's accounts, it also brought in record income of nearly £205m; it says it is satisfied the £219,908 paid to chief investment officer Stuart Mills is appropriate

The highest earner at the Canal and River Trust was paid almost £220,000 last year, with the charity earning a record income of almost £205m, its latest accounts show.

Stuart Mills, chief investment officer at the charity, was paid £219,908 in the year to 31 March 2018, including performance-related pay of £26,385, according to the accounts.

The accounts say this made Mills the highest earner at the charity, with its chief executive, Richard Parry, earning a total of £210,091 for the year.

The bonus awarded to Mills reflected the strong performance of the charity’s property portfolio in the year ending 31 March 2017, the accounts say.

The charity had property investments worth £493.4m in the 2017/18 financial year, compared with £437.2m the previous year.

The accounts show that income increased by £2m to a record £204.9m, with investment and property income contributing £48.4m of that total.

The charity took out a £150m loan at a low fixed-interest rate in 2017/18, according to the accounts, of which £100m has already been drawn down.

The loan will be used for investment to generate higher returns and additional net income for the charity, the introduction to the annual report says.

Total spending at the charity was £198.2m, the accounts show, compared with £198.1m the previous year.

The charity also made a £21.3m gain on its defined-benefit pension scheme, compared with a £66.8m loss the previous year.

A statement from the Canal and River Trust said: "Investment income, which has increased again this year, is crucial to the funding of the waterways, so that everyone can continue to enjoy and benefit from them. The performance-related pay granted to our chief investment officer reflects the strong performance of our property portfolio in the year ending 31 March 2017."

The statement said that the charity’s remuneration committee took independent advice on its pay policies and took account of the trust’s charity status and whether it could afford the salaries involved.

"The committee continues to be satisfied that the levels of executive director pay are appropriate to the responsibilities of the posts concerned," the statement said.

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