Anna Lo MLA said: “I am very pleased that the correct decision has been made and ‘Environment’ will be included in the name of the new department. I know that there has been a campaign behind this and I would like to thank David Ford and Stephen Farry who have supported its inclusion.
“While some may say what’s in a name, it is important in terms of the regulatory powers that ‘Environment’ and ‘Agriculture’ are given equal recognition in terms of the responsibilities of the new Department. There are concerns that there may be competing voices over environmental protection when the Departments of the Environment and Agriculture are merged, but I hope that the inclusion of both in the Department’s name will act as a reminder to officials and to the Minister that one does not outweigh the other.
“I welcome the continuing work to reform Stormont. The reduction in the number of Departments was one of the proposals that David Ford highlighted when he called for a Stormont reboot. I hope that we will see further changes to make the structures work for the public.”