The Environment Agency was created by the Environment Act 1995, and came into existence on 1 April 1996. It had responsibility for the whole of England and Wales but with specifically designated border arrangements with Scotland covering the catchment of the River Tweed. It took over the roles and responsibilities of the National Rivers Authority (NRA), Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) and the waste regulation authorities in England and Wales including the London Waste Regulation Authority (LWRA). All of the predecessor bodies were disbanded and the local authorities relinquished their waste regulatory role. At the same time, the Agency took responsibility for issuing flood warnings to the public, a role previously held by the police.
The Group recommends formation of research-based executive-led Cumbria River Catchments Authority, informed conceptually by elements of Somerset Rivers Authority model, and in partnership with EA.
- A stakeholder model, with Executive, Trustee and Advisory Boards, placing executive authority in a Chief Executive Officer. Inclusion of community and business leaders.
- Process commences with resource-based strategy formulation, including mapping capabilities and competencies from multiple-agencies. Strategic intent and objectives built from this iterative process.
- Executive Board‟s powers extend to structuring according to need, partners, and buying-in of resources where capability gaps are identified.
- EA, Councils, key bodies move to lead partner/second-agent role. The Authority takes first-agent lead in delivering short, medium and long-term objectives, reporting direct to government.
- Feasibility Working Group (FWG) first report by end July 2016. Authority in place by end of year 2016. FWG led by Executive Trustees; Cumbria University Research Team Members; Project Lead: Senior Manager from global natural assets design consultancy e.g. Arcadis; Sponsor: Rory Stewart MP, UK Government.
- In the final outworking strategic/operational transparency and project management reporting via publicly available online dash-board metrics (“modernisation”).
- FWG budget required to cover full-time Executive Project Managers (corporate infrastructure experience on major floods infrastructure work), secondments, Carlisle office.
- FWG makes recommendations for national frameworks that support its sustainability. Government budgets built from Authority calculations (“modernisation”).