Having worked for the Agency as an Investigator it is my personal opinion that there are some very talented hardworking individuals who inevitably ended up being frustrated and demotivated by supervisors who quite frankly were not fit for purpose. There is a culture of ‘This is how we have always done it’ with little obvious willingness to move with the times. Any attempts by myself to introduce new methods or to adopt current legislation were met with scepticism and a reluctance to embrace change.
For me It really was an eye opener to witness a culture of endless meetings where the same subjects swirled about without ever appearing to be resolved. I was based in a large building that contained several meeting rooms, some of which had the capacity to seat 20+ people. It was not uncommon to wait for 6 -8 weeks in order to book one of these rooms. It begs the question of what all the meetings were about and what all these people were doing and why nothing ever seemed to get done. A good example of this is that despite my enthusiasm as an investigator I never actually prosecuted anyone in nearly two years of working for the Agency.
Despite making a number of complaints to the Agency regarding bullying by members of staff, rudeness and bad practice no one as ever taken up my request to meet in person and discuss the issues I have with E.A, although someone has clearly taken the time to write letters to me that were designed basically to appease me. In my opinion that speaks volumes !!!. It is inevitable that E.A will again come under the spotlight for its many shortfalls, when this happens it is also inevitable that the media will read this blog along with the other many articles written by those with who care. I hope this article, and the many other articles written by Staff and ex staff prompts a transparent review of E.A.
Hi I have already left a comment on this site last year, regarding my experiences whilst working at the EA about bullying, abuse of power, wasting tax payers money, etc. . I have now left the EA due to this and feel compelled to tell you more snippets of things I witnessed.
I went on a two day course with accommodation provided for by the EA which is fine this included travel, bed, breakfast, lunch and evening meal all paid for in advance by the EA. There were about 15 – 20 EA staff on the course from all over the country, different EA Regions and Areas being represented, from grade 3 and 4 Officers to grade 5 Specialists and Team Leaders (salaries ranging from approx 20k to 40k). When we sat down for the evening meal which was three courses, about six staff from one Area did not turn up for dinner. I found out later that they had all gone into town for a curry and the pub afterwards payed for by the Team Leader on his EA charge card. This was in 2011 during the governments austerity measures with pay freezes, job cuts etc.. But these staff did not seemed to be bothered about the waste of taxpayers money paying for twice the amount for food and the waste of food. This mentality seemed common amongst many staff in the EA at the time get what you can sod the rest!
We’ve had Environment Officers and Flood Officers share their experiences, we now have an EA Ops Delivery staff members who would like to share their experiences. Hopefully the first in a long line of what our new Ops members would like to share:
“Hi. I work for the EA and have seen all sorts of abuse. I work in ops and spend most of my days miserable I’m hard working and enthusiastic but Iv had most of that sucked out of me. On a daily basis my colleagues steal equipment, go home early, have hours for brew and dinner turn up drunk or even go to the pub at dinner. Spend most of the day asleep or shopping or not even where there ment to be. They steal petrol and diesel, they book overtime that they never did or add more to the time they have done. My line manager is more bothered about his own career that he neglects the aspirations of others looking to progress, there’s also people in leadership roles who don’t do there job properly and more suitable candidates are overlooked as I’v read on here and I agree with its who you know not how good you are. I would like to add much more if you would allow me ? Please let me know cheers”
“I wish the public could see the total wasteful nature of the environment agency, this is just a quick post but hopefully it will show you just a glimps of wasting money. Recently some ops departments stopped having there own equipment and started to hire it, the cost for this is massive for example hiring a strimmer for week costs £50 we have these on hire all year and at the moment we have four so there’s £2400 x 4 = £9600 a year, may not seem much but when you think we could buy our own and service them ourselves at a fraction of the price, also adding in that we have all been trained to use and service them ourselves. When a colleague spoke to our line manager about this he was told “what can I do about it” ? This is just one small example and I’m going to add more because it frustrates me so much, nobody seems accountable for anything, if it was a private company it could not operate in this way and would have gone bust years ago.”