John Griffiths, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development
On 29 November 2011 I announced my policy decision that I was minded to proceed with establishing a single environment body for Wales. This was taken following careful consideration of the detailed business case which had been developed over the previous nine months.
Today I am launching the consultation on proposals for establishing the new body. In particular, the consultation covers:
• Our overall proposals.
• Proposals for implementing the legal changes required to establish the new body.
• Our ambitions for the new body, together with the way in which we intend to frame its overall purpose.
• Our proposed arrangements for customer and stakeholder engagement, including mechanisms for ensuring accountability and transparency in the work of the new body.
• Our proposals for the main functions and powers of the body, including consideration of some elements of Welsh Government functions and Internal Drainage Boards.
• Our proposals for the status of the body and how it will be governed, including arrangements for an executive board and wider stakeholder engagement.
• How we propose to take forward issues around cross-border governance and our proposals for the links to Welsh Government Ministers to ensure that the body will be fully accountable to Ministers.
In the consultation we also identify a number of areas of work where we intend to consult further. These include the future of Internal Drainage Boards wholly or mainly in Wales and the Welsh language scheme for the new body.
The consultation document is available from the Welsh Government’s website at http://www.wales.gov.uk/consultations/environmentandcountryside/singlebody/?lang=en. The consultation will run from 9 February 2012 and will close on 2 May 2012.
I will provide an update on the outcomes to the consultation in plenary later this year.