Comprehensive spending review: cuts in people and services

Many thousands of public sector jobs in environmental protection will be lost in the next four years. But some key plans for cutting carbon and protecting biodiversity have been retained.Like other departments, both DECC and DEFRA are aiming to make a 33% cut in aministration costs. That means big savings in IT, procurement, accommodation and through sharing services across government. Those savings will also apply to arms length bodies (ALBs) like the Environment Agency and Natural England. DEFRA’s permanent secretary Helen Gosh said she expected between 5,000 and 8,000 jobs would be lost out of a total of 30,000 in DEFRA and its ALBs. But since there are only 2,500 civil servants in DEFRA, the great bulk of job losses will be in the ALBs. The agency has 12,400 staff, having already seen 900 leave since April this year. Natural England, which has also been rapidly shedding staff, has about 2,000. DECC has 1,100 civil servants; several hundred of those will be leaving over the next four years.