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consultation begins on proposed single environment agency for Wales

16 February 2012

The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) has opened a consultation on proposals to merge together the Environment Agency Wales (EA), the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and the Forestry Commission Wales (FC) to form a Single Environment Agency (SEA) with responsibility for managing all of Wales’s natural resources.

Three main factors driving this change are the need to modernise environmental regulation and management, the need to focus on Wales’s priorities, opportunities and challenges, and the need to ensure value for money. It is predicted that the new body could achieve savings of £158m over the first 10 years of its existence.

However, opposition parties and the forestry sector, including the FC itself, have raised concerns that the merger could damage transparency. The WAG will need to ensure that procedures are put in place to allay these fears, particularly as one of the parties to the merger holds these fears!

The consultation closes on 2 May 2012.

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