Environment Agency chairman quits after holiday outcry

Sir Philip Dilley has stepped down from his position as head of the Environment Agency following criticism of his decision to remain on holiday in Barbados during the recent UK flooding.

13th January 2016

Environment Agency chairman quits after holiday outcry

Sir Philip Dilley has stepped down from his position as head of the Environment Agency following criticism of his decision to remain on holiday in Barbados during the recent UK flooding.

Sir Philip stated that he was resigning because the expectations of his role had changed, meaning that he had to be available at short notice throughout the year. When heavy rainfall caused devastating floods across the north of England during the Christmas and New Year period, many expected the Environment Agency Chairman to be available in person to help with the relief operation.

Nigel Evans, Conservative MP for the flood-hit Ribble Valley, said Sir Philip had made the right decision in resigning. He added that local people in his constituency had thought it bizarre that the Environment Agency Chairman had decided to stay on holiday during the worst flooding in their area in living memory.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, said Environment Agency staff had worked through their Christmas holidays to deal with the flooding, and that Sir Philip should have joined them. Mr Farron said it seemed to many that the organisation was bereft of its formal leadership.

In his letter of resignation from the post, which paid £100,000 per year, Sir Philip said the expectations were inappropriate to a part-time, non-executive position. He added that he felt the media focus on his role had diverted attention away from practical measures to help flood-hit areas.

Emma Howard Boyd, the Deputy Chairman, will step up to the position of Acting Chairman with immediate effect.

Published by Green Jobs Online - 13th January 2016

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