Natural England says it cannot function on proposed budget cuts

Plans to cut nature regulator Natural England’s dwindling budget by another 8% would leave it unable to perform its most fundamental functions, according to its latest board meeting minutes.

Natural England’s February board meeting minutes, published last month, say that work done by its directors delivery group show that “even a ‘do minimum’ option in 2019/20, based on [its] current work would be unaffordable if there is such a large cut”.

“DEFRA has been informed that an 8% cut is not achievable,” it says.

READ MORE: What has £160m in cuts meant for Natural England?

READ MORE: Is this the end of DEFRA’s agencies as we know them?

Responding to the assessment, the board said it was “extremely concerned” and “recognised the need to be robust with DEFRA”. It also said it did not like the ‘do minimum’ terminology or concept.

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