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Secretary of State for the Environment

The Secretary of State for the Environment was a UK cabinet position, responsible for the Department of the Environment (DoE). This was created by Edward Heath as a combination of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Public Building and Works on 15 October 1970. Thus it managed a mixed portfolio of issues: housing and planning, local government, public buildings, environmental protection and, initially, transport - James Callaghan gave transport its own department again in 1976. It has been asserted that during the Thatcher government the DoE led the drive towards centralism, and the undermining of local government.[1] Particularly, the concept of 'inner cities policy', often involving centrally negotiated public-private partnerships and centrally appointed development corporations, which moved control of many urban areas to the centre, and away from their, often left-wing, local authorities.[1]

Department of the Environment
Department overview
Formed 15 October 1970
Preceding agencies
Dissolved 1997
Superseding agency
Jurisdiction United Kingdom
Headquarters London, England, UK

In 1997, when Labour came to power, the DoE was merged with the Department of Transport to form the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR), thus, essentially, restoring the DoE to its initial 1970 portfolio. The titular mention of 'the Regions' referred to the government's pledge to create regional government. In the wake of the 2001 foot and mouth crisis, the environmental protection elements of the DETR were split of and merged with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), to form the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Meanwhile, the transport, housing and planning, and local and regional government aspects went to a new Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (DTLR). A year later the DTLR also split, with transport getting its own department and the rest going to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

List of Environment SecretariesEdit

Secretary of State for the Environment[2][3]
Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Party Ministry
  The Right Honourable
Peter Walker
MBE

MP for Worcester
(1932–2010)
15 October
1970
5 November
1972
Conservative Heath
  The Right Honourable
Geoffrey Rippon
QC

MP for Hexham
(1924–1997)
5 November
1972
4 March
1974
Conservative
  The Right Honourable
Anthony Crosland

MP for Great Grimsby
(1918–1977)
5 March
1974
8 April
1976
Labour Wilson
(III & IV)
  The Right Honourable
Peter Shore

MP for Stepney and Poplar
(1924–2001)
8 April
1976
4 May
1979
Labour Callaghan
  The Right Honourable
Michael Heseltine

MP for Henley
(born 1933)
5 May
1979
6 January
1983
Conservative Thatcher I
  The Right Honourable
Tom King

MP for Bridgwater
(born 1933)
6 January
1983
11 June
1983
Conservative
  The Right Honourable
Patrick Jenkin

MP for Wanstead and Woodford
(1926–2016)
11 June
1983
2 September
1985
Conservative Thatcher II
  The Right Honourable
Kenneth Baker

MP for Mole Valley
(born 1934)
2 September
1985
21 May
1986
Conservative
  The Right Honourable
Nicholas Ridley

MP for Cirencester and Tewkesbury
(1929–1993)
21 May
1986
24 July
1989
Conservative
Thatcher III
  The Right Honourable
Chris Patten

MP for Bath
(born 1944)
24 July
1989
28 November
1990
Conservative
  The Right Honourable
Michael Heseltine

MP for Henley
(born 1933)
28 November
1990
11 April
1992
Conservative Major I
  The Right Honourable
Michael Howard
QC

MP for Folkestone and Hythe
(born 1941)
11 April
1992
27 May
1993
Conservative Major II
  The Right Honourable
John Gummer

MP for Suffolk Coastal
(born 1939)
27 May
1993
2 May
1997
Conservative

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Peter Hennessy, Whitehall p.439
  2. ^ David Butler and Gareth Butler, British Political Facts 1900–1994. (7th edn. Macmilln 1994) 56.
  3. ^ "Secretary of State for Environment". Hansard 1803–2005. UK Parliament. Retrieved 23 October 2017.