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Written Statement - Resignation of the Chair of Natural Resources Wales

Lesley Griffiths AM, Cabinet Secretary Energy, Planning and Rural Affairs

I have today accepted the resignation of the Chair of Natural Resources Wales (NRW).  This is an appropriate response in the light of the recent WAO report which qualifies the accounts for the third time, and the concerns and criticisms from all parties in the Assembly.  I have written to thank Diane McCrea for her service.  

I will be appointing an interim Chair of the NRW Board, while I undertake a recruitment process for a new Chair. We are currently undertaking a planned recruitment of five new Board Members. Together the new Chair and Board Members will be part of the new leadership moving the organisation forward, with an emphasis on ensuring good governance whilst delivering its regulatory and environmental objectives.

I regularly meet committed and professional people who work for NRW, building flood defences, protecting rare species, improving the quality of our rivers or regulating our major industries.  They work tirelessly to protect and enhance Wales’ precious natural environment.

The Chief Executive is taking the WAO’s concerns seriously, which is recognised in the report, and implementing the changes necessary to have a delivery organisation with strong governance.  To help with this, a senior member of Welsh Government staff will be seconded to NRW.  This will allow NRW to continue to build its important role in protecting and enhancing the environment in Wales.