Departments burn in the bonfire of the quangos

Big departmental names across horticultural sectors have been abolished after the Government's long-awaited cull of its so-called quangos.

Cabinet officer minister Francis Maude said nearly 200 non-governmental groups across all departments would go or see their roles swallowed up by other bodies. And many of those that survived would be completely overhauled.

Defra’s largest environmental names, the Environment Agency and Natural England, stay but will become "leaner, more efficient front-line delivery bodies", while British Waterways will become a charity and focus on working with local communities.

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew survives "on the grounds of performing a technical function that should remain independent of government".

The Forestry Commission is being retained, but a huge strategic review to forestry in England is due later in the autumn. The Gangmasters Licensing Authority has also been spared the axe.

And in a nod towards the importance of plant science and research, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board survives. But the Agricultural Wages Board is abolished along with 15 Agricultural Wages Committees.

A number of scientific and technical advisory bodies will be "reduced significantly", with most becoming expert committees to Defra.

The Advisory Committee on Pesticides and the Pesticide Residues Committee will also be "reconstituted" as expert committees.

Elsewhere in Westminster, the Government confirmed that Regional Development Agencies would go and their functions transferred to central or local government.

The Technology Strategy Board will be retained as will the Big Lottery Fund at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, because both quangos require impartiality, said the Government.

English Heritage stays as does the National Heritage Memorial Fund as well as Heritage and Big Lottery funds to keep them independent from government.

But design watchdog the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment is "under consideration". The School Food Trust is not under consideration. It has been abolished, but will continue as a charity.



Maud said: "As part of the Government’s commitment to radically increase the transparency and accountability of all public services we are reforming a large number of public bodies."




Other winners and losers

Advisory Committee on Organic Standards – abolish

Covent Garden Market Authority – retain

National Forest Company – retain

National Parks Authorities (9) – retain

Plant Varieties and Seeds Tribunal – under consideration

Research Councils (7) – retain

UK Commission for Employment and Skills – under consideration

Homes and Communities Agency – retain

Infrastructure Planning Commission – abolish

London Thames Gateway Development Corporation – abolish

National Housing and Planning Advice Unit – abolish

Olympic Park Legacy Company – devolved

Thurrock Development Corporation – abolish

West Northamptonshire Development Corporation – abolish

Historic Royal Palaces – retain



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