Environment Agency chairman steps down

Lord De Ramsey is to retire as Chairman of the UK Environment Agency with effect from 1 January 2000, seven months before his five-year term is up.


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“I have decided to retire at the end of this year to avoid the complication of the chairman and the chief executive both reaching the end of our appointments at the same time next year,” Lord De Ramsey said. “Early notice of this helps ensure a smooth hand-over to my successor.”

Lord De Ramsey was appointed as the first Chairman of the Board of the Environment Agency in August 1995, for a five year period. Prior to that he had been Chairman of the Environment Agency Advisory Committee since November 1994. He was paid £54,765 p.a. based on a time input of two and a half days a week work.

The Board of the Environment Agency must comprise at least eight Members, but not more than fifteen. Three Members are appointed by the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, one by the Secretary of State for Wales (the National Assembly for Wales after 1 July), and the remainder, including the Chairman and Deputy Chairman, by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions.

The Environment Agency is a Non-Departmental Public Body, set up under the Environment Act 1995 to take an integrated approach to environmental protection and enhancement in England and Wales. It has major responsibilities for management and regulation of the water environment, and for controlling industrial pollution and wastes.

Environment Minister Michael Meacher said: “Lord De Ramsey has led the Environment Agency from the very outset and under his Chairmanship the Agency has now established itself as a major player in the Government’s continuing drive to protect and enhance the environment.

“Under Lord De Ramsey’s Chairmanship the Agency has developed its role as a regulator, and as a guardian of the environment. I am grateful to Lord De Ramsey for giving me early warning that, after what will amount to more than five years preparing for and leading the Agency, he has now decided to retire on 1 January 2000. I intend to appoint recruitment consultants to assist in identifying suitable potential candidates to succeed Lord De Ramsey.”

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