Featured post

10,000,000 Miles in a Nissan Leaf?

Monday, 28 July 2014

Another New Broom

Us yokels being occasionally behind the curve missed this....  After Liz Truss gets a promotion to Secretary of State at DEFRA - her first appointment ... the EA rather quietly gets a new chairperson.

Did we have a senior moment or was Chris Smith advertised last year to be leaving by June 2014 - and does the extension to September reveal a problem getting a suitable candidate to grasp the poison chalice?

From ENDS Reports  (and h/t Henry)

Dilley confirmed as new Environment Agency chair

Sir Philip Dilley has been confirmed as the new Environment Agency chairman (photograph: London First)DEFRA has appointed Sir Philip Dilley as the new chair of the Environment Agency.
Dilley, former executive chairman of engineering firm Arup, replaces Lord Chris Smith of Finsbury who is stepping down on 7 September.
DEFRA made the announcement on 22 July following the approval of the House of Commons Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs (EFRA) committee.
At a pre-appointment hearing on 15 July Dilley was questioned by the EFRA committee about his ability to take the Environment Agency through a period of significant restructuring and budget cuts.
Although MPs approved the appointment, they questioned DEFRA’s decision to extend the time commitment of the job from two to ‘two-to-three’ days a week, and to raise the salary from £60,632 to £100,000.
The decision to appoint Dilley was one of first made by Liz Truss as new environment secretary.
In a statement she said: “This is a vital role which carries major responsibilities. I am delighted to have confirmed Sir Philip Dilley as chairman of the Environment Agency and I look forward to him bringing his leadership, experience and gravitas to the board.”
Dilley was knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours list in June.

It's likely (O.K. certain...) that files/reports about Avoncliff will be on Sir Philip's desk sooner rather than later .....   (Google Sir Philip Dilley)

It's caused a bit of spluttering at The Guardian  and no doubt when FoE and Greenpeace catch up there'll be a blizzard of ad-hom name calling - then aagain maybe not - he gave £2000 to the Scottish Labour Party.

EDIT From The Role Description: "You will promote a positive and constructive relationship with everyone that works with the Environment Agency including local government and local communities, business and industry, planners and developers, and a wide range of other interest groups. Providing excellent customer service will be core to your role."

Right-oh ...


  1. The only question one can honestly raise is how impartial will Sir Philip Dilley be?
    ARUP are framework contractors of the EA. This means in his position as Chairman of ARUP a proportion of their income would have been from the EA. This could raise the question of conflict of interests. It could also have a positive in the fact that if Sir Philip was awake during his time at ARUP he would have been well informed as to how dysfunctional the EA are and always have been. He will be well paid for a part time position. Unfortunately the mess the EA is requires more than part time oversight.

    1. Quite...

      Although that familiarity might have engendered some contempt....

      I suppose shedloads of public money for going along with EA officials whims and whacky schemes - away from the hurly-burly of competing with the Bechtels and so on in the commercial world probably has its attractions.

      It all rather depends how virtuous Sir Philip is rather than pious I think. Wanting to do it right - rather than simply muttering some incantations and sprinkling some holy water about the place.

      Is he going to restrict himself to dinified patrician ribbon cutting and such - or is he going to try and inject some professionalism and enforce standards in his new sprawling empire?

  2. Lord Smith was patently useless and could not manage the job in however many days he was paid. Is it not asking a lot by the EFRA committee to require that Sir Philip take the EA through "significant restructuring and budget cuts" in 2-3 days per week. It is accepted that the EA is dysfunctional and corrupt and DEFRA expect it to be fixed through a part time approach. MP's question why it was more than 2 days. A simple question which will not be answered. The rivers need dredging (even honest members of the EA accept this). Shall we dredge two days or 5 days a week to get the job completed? Same goes for EA restructuring. The Conservative Parties election promise of removing all qango's has not been achieved because proper resources were not put to the task. Resource the EA restricting correctly please. Give Sir Philip a fighting chance.

  3. I have seen some not all of the documents on Avoncliff and this is clearly an abuse of public funds, in my opinion the EA have officers who should be brought to book for Maleficence in Public Office. It is officers like this that have brought the EA into disrepute,and i will be flagging this to a higher level this behaviour is not acceptable.

    1. Yes .... we know about the bad behaviour :-)

      We also know that there is deep rooted arrogance and wholesale incompetence in the middle and upper management who've ridden the EA gravy train essentially undisturbed for almost 20 years - and their attitude has trickled down to the new recruits in a very insular organisation.

      Its too big, too badly managed, it's self evidently not a meritocracy, proper scrutiny is evaded, officials flout the law, there are few if any personal consequences for non performance and perhaps worse - no evidence of an interest in catching and terminating the employment of wrongdoers.

      We have exposed only a part of what's gone on on the web, there is much, much more both big and small that has gone down - very little of it reflects well on officials or the working culture of the EA.


Get it off yer chest - please keep it civil