Tom Heap asks if the Environment Agency is fit for purpose. After seven years of deep cuts to its staffing and budgets, Tom Heap asks the EA’s Chair, Emma Howard Boyd, to respond to her critics. We hear from those who are concerned that the EA is doing too little, too late when it comes to protecting the quality of our rivers and the environment, and that it can appear toothless when dealing with the rising tide of waste crime.
Senior Conservative politician, John Gummer, now Lord Deben, created the Environment Agency in 1995. He tells us that the organisation has become too cosy to government and has lost its independence. Emma Howard Boyd responds to these and other concerns, such as the EA’s shedding of one third of its frontline enforcement officers over the last five years. Can it still safeguard our environment?