Single Welsh environment body given go ahead

6th December 2011

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  • Local government ,
  • Business & Industry ,
  • Natural resources ,
  • Prevention & Control



The Welsh arms of the Environment Agency Wales and the Forestry Commission are to be scrapped along with the Countryside Commission for Wales and replaced by a single regulator

Following a 2010 consultation proposing a single body take responsibility for delivering the Welsh Assembly's natural environment framework, further research revealed that combining their activities could save £100 million and provide more effective delivery of services.

After examining the business case, Welsh environment minister John Griffiths confirmed the Welsh government’s decision to follow its recommendations saying a single body will ensure the most sustainable management of Wales’ natural resources.

“Not only will one body result in a more streamlined way of working, it will also ensure more effective delivery, improved value for money and better outcomes for Welsh people, Welsh businesses and the environment,” said Griffiths in announcing the decision.

The decision, which could see up to 234 people made redundant, was welcomed by all three heads of the existing bodies as an opportunity to provide more joined up services.

“The new body will continue to provide independent advice to government on a wide range of environmental issues, provide sustainable management of our public lands, regulate industry and promote opportunities for everyone to enjoy the outdoors,” said Morgan Parry, chair of the Countryside Council for Wales. “But these, and many other functions, will be approached with the benefit of a broader perspective that will make it easier to care for ecosystems in their entirety.”

Parry’s comments were echoed by Chris Mills, director of the Environment Agency Wales, who said the new body has the potential to deliver more for the environment and the Welsh economy than the three bodies could separately.

Griffiths confirmed the next step in the creation of the body, which could be operational as early as April 2013, will be a public consultation early next year.


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