Environment Sec: DEFRA 'has to make efficiencies'

The Environment Secretary Owen Paterson has admitted his department "has had to make efficiencies" after the Environment Agency confirmed that it is making 1,550 redundancies, but said that frontline services will be protected:

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Owen Paterson admits his dept (DEFRA) "has had to made efficiencies" and the "intention" of Env Agency boss is to protect frontline services

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Owen Paterson: Env Agency chief assures me he will carry those out with the intention of protection frontline services concerned with floods

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Paterson: "this govt is spending more on flood defences" <<Capital spend maybe but not flood maintenance budgets - down by £11m

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Environment Agency to cut staff by 1,550

The Environment Agency has said it is planning to cut the number of staff from 11,250 to around 9,700 by October, leading to fears that it will not be able to cope with serious flooding.