Environment quangos: It could be worse, but fears persist
Green campaigners will be relieved that the three main environmental quangos, Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission, have at least survived the cull; there had been fears since the election that the first two would be merged and the last abolished.
However, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) says the three will be transformed in a "radical and comprehensive" way, which may be one way of saying that their budget cuts next week will be so enormous that they will have to undergo major restructuring just to function.
Another hint of what may be coming lurks in the ominous phrases that they will "stop activity that Government does not need to do", which may mean handing over the network of national nature reserves in England to wildlife charities.
They are also to "stop policy-making and lobbying activities". This announcement closes the door on any environmental, non-departmental, public body telling the Government in future that it is going about things in the wrong way – at least publicly.
Another major green quango, British Waterways, which looks after the 2,200-mile network of canals, is ceasing to be a quango and will re-invent itself as a charity.
Dolphins ‘deliberately get high’ on puffer fish nerve toxins by carefully chewing and passing them around
Outlander novelist Diana Gabaldon in battle to prevent 'industrial-scale' windfarm being built where travel series is set
Britain's bluebells now face a fight for their very survival
The top 10 weirdest animal mating rituals
Shark facts: The fearsome fish in numbers
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 4 Uploading pictures to find out how old you are gives Microsoft the right to post them wherever they want
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...