To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the potential savings to the public purse of the reduction in Environment Agency depot costs.
The Defra group, which includes the Environment Agency, has been delivering an integrated ‘group-wide’ property rationalisation plan since 2010. As a result annual property running costs, which include depots, were reduced by over £60 million by 2015, with a further £37 million in savings expected by 2020.
Depots represent a relatively small proportion of property costs, which since 2015 have been reduced from £6.2 million to £5.8 million per year.
The Environment Agency undertakes periodic reviews of its depot requirement, and how this is met. Depots are used for storing equipment and are a key part of the Environment Agency’s flood and pollution incident management capability and response infrastructure. Rationalisation is considered in that context.