Environment Agency takes shape

The National Rivers Authority (NRA) has won its battle to be transferred wholesale to the new Environment Agency, where it will join HM Inspectorate of Pollution and the waste regulation authorities. But many details about the Agency remain to be announced, and it now appears unlikely to be operational until 1995. Meanwhile, the NRA is worrying about pressure from the Government to reduce its workforce.

Politicians dislike losing an argument with their colleagues as much as anyone, but they dislike still more to have their defeats broadcast in public. When the politician in question is as petulant a loser as Agriculture Minister John Gummer, it is fortunate indeed that the British tradition of Cabinet government can spring to his rescue and save him from loss of face.

So it was that when the time came to announce the Government's decisio

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