Headlines: October 4th, 2001

DEFRA has strengthened its management board to reflect the new responsibilities it took on after the electionThe new board brings in new blood from other departments and also from the private sector.

The news comes at a time when new figures about foot and mouth disease, widely thought to be the reason for the demise of MAFF, indicate it is likely to be a problem in Britain into next year.

The new management structure is built around three key areas of business – environmental protection, food, farming and fisheries and rural affairs, and around three areas of professional expertise – science, veterinary advice and legal affairs.

The biggest change is a new post of Director General for Operations and Service Delivery, intended to bring a new emphasis at Management Board level on customer focus and service delivery. This post has already been taken by Mark Addison, who joined DEFRA from the Crown Prosecution Service.

Andy Lebrecht, has been approved as Director General for Food, Farming and Fisheries. Previously he was Director for European Union and International Policy Division.

Anna Walker is to move from the DTI to become Director General for Land Use and Rural Affairs.

DEFRA has also appointed a third non-executive member, Richard Wakeford, Chief Executive of the Countryside Agency and a member of the Sustainable Development Commission. He joins two other non-executive directors, both of whom have private sector backgrounds: Alison Huxtable (formerly of Amerada Hess) and Elizabeth Ransom (formerly of KPMG).

The other members of the DEFRA Management Board remain unchanged.