Environment Agency and Natural England (Review)
Environment Food and Rural Affairs
Owen Paterson (North Shropshire, Conservative)
The Government are committed to high levels of environmental protection and to the effectiveness of the bodies entrusted with those obligations. Today I am announcing the start of the review of the Environment Agency (EA) and Natural England (NE). This review is part of the Government’s rolling programme of reviews of non-departmental public bodies.
The review will consider the functions and form of the EA and NE to ensure that delivery arrangements are sufficiently strong and resilient to deliver the Government’s environment and flood risk management priorities and statutory obligations in the short and longer term, while also achieving better quality outcomes for the environment, the economy and for people on a sustainable basis.
The review will also assess the opportunities for innovation, cost saving and improvements in service delivery for customers. It will have due regard to affordability and best value for money for the taxpayer.
I am committed to conducting the review through an open, inclusive and evidence-based approach, working closely with the EA and NE and their stakeholders to ensure they have the opportunity to contribute their views. I am issuing a discussion paper today, inviting responses by
I have established a challenge group, chaired by Dame Deirdre Hutton, to rigorously and robustly test the assumptions and conclusions of the review.
Terms of reference for the review, a copy of the discussion paper and the terms of reference for the challenge group have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
I expect to announce the findings of the review and recommendations in spring 2013.