Reported staff cuts at the Environment Agency (EA) are set to be larger than anticipated and will take place within just one year, the agency has confirmed.
The EA will now lose 1,700 (15%) of its staff within the next 12 months, according to an EA spokesperson.
He added: “We will then aim to keep numbers broadly at that level through to March 2015 dependent of course on future funding. We will only achieve this by looking across the whole organisation at our ways of working and structures.”
This is 300 more job losses than it anticipated earlier this month. The cuts will take also take place in the half the time previously forecast.
There are currently 11,400 staff at the EA.
Sam Corp, head of regulation at the Environmental Services Association (ESA), said: “ESA is concerned that the more drastic cuts to the Environment Agency’s staff numbers could have a significant impact on the environment as well as on the operations of responsible waste management companies.
“We are also concerned that this further drastic cut will impact on the Agency’s efforts to crack down on waste crime.
“It is of course incumbent on the Agency to continue to explore ways to develop its ‘risk based approach’ to regulation, in order to focus its efforts where they are most effective and have the most impact, and ESA will continue to assist the Agency in this area.”
The EA budget for 2014/15 will be confirmed shortly, according to the spokesperson.