Defra Is Five – And Has A Special Blog

Leaves (five points) 06.7.30.jpgThe Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has been going now for full five years, and it’s showing an impressively modern approach to public engagement, with its very own personal Blog, inviting public involvement, by the new Defra Secretary of State, David Miliband.
I was really pleased when, a few months ago, I heard that I was to be appointed Lay Member of the Defra Science Advisory Council , which is the scientific advisory body to Ministers in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
I can’t think of much which is more important than trying to get environment and food right. I have a lot to learn as yet about the inner-workings of a large Government Department, but I certainly found my first meeting, in April, quite fascinating. Here is a group of people, the actual Members of SAC and the secretariat and advisers within Defra itself who have hugely impressive credentials and take environment and all that goes with it very seriously indeed.
New Secretary of State, new Blog
Defra is quite a new Department, with an even newer Secretary of State, David Miliband, who was appointed just five weeks ago. The Department came into being on 8 May 2001, very soon after the 2001 General Election, in response to a recognised need to bring together various aspects of what is now its remit. That makes it five years old today.
So Defra may be just a youngster, but it’s a youngster with admirable attitude: the new Secretary of State has begun his very own Blog, under strict non-partisan rules, which is his attempt to reach out to more people and to encourage them to engage in the issues around environment and government.
David Miliband’s blog is being evaluated by the independent parliamentary body, The Hansard Society, to see how his attempt to ‘reach out’ is working. I very much hope that well before Defra is ten all Government Departments will have been following the Defra Secretary of State’s example for some time.

Posted on June 8, 2006, in Arts, Culture And Heritage, Events And Notable Dates, Knowledge Ecology And Economy, Politics, Policies And Process, Regeneration, Renewal And Resilience, Sustainability As If People Mattered. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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