The agency announced to its staff last week that the Chancellor’s recent announcement of further cuts to departmental budgets would mean around 1,400 job loses between now and 2016.
It’s still unclear which services will suffer most and which jobs are most at risk, however, the scale of the cutbacks suggest that services will suffer to some degree.
Negotiator for union Prospect, Kevin Warden, said: “The proposed decimation of Environment Agency jobs will have a detrimental effect on the lives of millions of people in England.
Prospect negotiator Kevin Warden – “The proposed decimation of Environment Agency jobs will have a detrimental effect on the lives of millions of people in England”
“Cuts of this scale will affect all frontline services. For example, the organisation’s flood warning service is staffed out of hours by members in all functions, not just flood risk management, so inevitably the warning service will suffer. The public has grown used to a world leading incident management response from the Agency at times of crisis: this is clearly threatened.”
The ESA last week commented on how cuts to the agency’s budget will impeed its ability to combat waste crime.
Barry Dennis, ESA director general, said: “ESA welcomes the Environment Agency’s efforts to crack down on waste crime – but much more needs to be done… ESA is concerned that continued cuts to the Agency’s crime fighting budget will adversely affect the Agency’s good work.”
CIWM chief executive, Steve Lee, said: “The Environment Agency fulfils a critical role in safeguarding our environment and our communities and the budget cuts are cause for concern across all areas of the Agency’s remit. With evidence to suggest that there is a growing link between waste and organised crime, however, we believe that waste crime must be considered a priority.
“CIWM and other key industry organisations have already jointly written to the Government to express our strong view that the funding for the Agency’s dedicated task force, which has already done good work, must not be cut. The environmental and economic impact of waste crime is significant and we will continue to push for this area of enforcement to be properly resourced.”