William Powell AM calls on First Minister to clarify surveillance and monitoring powers of new Single Body

2012 Hydref 16 1:53 PM

William Powell, Spokesperson for Environment and Sustainable Development, has today called on the First Minister to clarify what surveillance and monitoring powers the new Single Body will have due to the vagueness of its draft establishment order.

Presently the Environment Agency Wales (EAW) holds surveillance and monitoring powers derived from Section 28 and 29 of the 'Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000', which it uses to monitor fly tipping and potential pollution threats. However, the draft order for the new Single Body appears to extend those powers to all the functions currently enacted by the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) and Forestry Commission Wales (FCW).

William Powell, Assembly Member for Mid and West Wales, said:

"It is essential that the First Minister and the Welsh Government clarify whether they intend to extend the surveillance and monitoring powers currently held by EAW to all the functions and purposes of the New Body.

Such powers should not be extended lightly, nor should the creation of the new Body become a further grab for centralised control. Over the years we have seen CCW and FCW fulfill their functions without such powers, so it is vital that the Welsh Government make a full and detailed case for any extensions, should they be sort."

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