Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Questions: Non-departmental Public Bodies
In her bid to reduce the number of non-departmental public bodies, Andrew Bridgen calls on the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to look at the overlapping roles of the Environment Agency and Natural England.
Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con): What further plans her Department has to reduce the number of non-departmental public bodies for which it is responsible. 
The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mrs Caroline Spelman): The Government are committed to making substantial reforms to public bodies to increase accountability and reduce costs. I have been looking closely to ensure that we deliver our priorities in the most efficient and effective way, and to enhance the role of the big society. I announced reductions in the number of bodies before the recess and will make further announcements this autumn.
Andrew Bridgen: Given the overlap of responsibilities and roles between the Environment Agency and Natural England, does my right hon. Friend agree that there could be scope to merge the two bodies and that considerable savings and efficiencies could result?
Mrs Spelman: My hon. Friend will have to await the final announcements that will be made this autumn. However, we have already had constructive discussions with Natural England and the Environment Agency, which has been very helpful in our quest for savings that will not involve compromising the front line. Reducing duplication between those organisations will obviously be one way of achieving that.