Thursday 21 November 2013

England's Environment Agency

It looks to me like CaRT had a narrow escape when during the planning stage the handover of sections of the EA was postponed. The poison chalice that could have been off loaded on CaRT are amongst the more expensive sections of the EA. 

I discovered an interesting whistle blower website that shines a light into some of the inner workings of the Environment Agency. But at the broad brush stroke level if the information is correct should be sounding the alarm bells within CaRT.  I was amazed to read some of the top line statistics comparing England's Environment Agency to it's European counterparts.

A few interesting facts:
other European Environment Agencies have more duties than our Environment Agency, but manage them with lower staffing and budgetary levels. It's interesting how even though the Danish Environment Agency faces greater risks and greater costs from flood protection than England, it again manages this and it's additional duties with far lower staffing and budgetary levels. Most stunning is the fact that England's Environment Agency employs more staff than all the above combined by a factor of THREE and has TWICE the budget of all the above combined. 

The British EA report gives the financial detail. 





Going by these statistics, it would appear that the Environment Agency is overstaffed by around 9,000 and has a budget that appears to be £1 billion too much. This, along with what others have experienced, highlights the dire need for an in depth analysis and review of the Environment Agency with the aim of restructuring the body to ensure that tax payer money is being spent effectively.

Now if the EA was restructured along the lines of say France which also has a significant canal system. Maybe its time that all the inland waterways were under one banner. Then there could be a good case of saving money for essential maintenance by absorbing the Broads authority and CaRT into the EA. Putting the CaRT after the cheval so to speak.

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