There is still little clarity on how the Environment Agency’s plan to cut 1,700 staff will affect its ability to respond to future floods.
On 3 January, environment secretary Owen Paterson told journalists the cuts would have no impact. The agency “has every intention of protecting frontline services concerned with flooding... as [it] makes [its] efficiencies,” he said following widespread flooding.
He repeated the comment during parliamentary questions on 7 January. However, his statement appears to contradict an interview Paul Leinster, the agency’s chief executive, gave ENDS in November (ENDS Report 466, p11).