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Bearing the burden of too much upheaval

Past and present staff at the Environment Agency have told how stress has increased since the Agency's formation in 1996.

HIGH STRESS levels seem to have been a by-product of melding together the National Rivers Authority, Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Pollution and local waste regulation authorities, former employees told NCE this week.

'What you have is people coming together from different organisations causing massive upheaval for staff, ' said Agency board member Alan Dalton, whose job it is to sort out the problem.

'Officers were finding it difficult to cope with what they had to do and then came the added burden of new regulations and legislation to adapt to.'

The management has greatly exacerbated the problem according to an ex-Agency civil engineer: 'I found that too many managers would make demands on me at once, creating a massive workload, ' he said.

Another former employee blamed the clash of cultures between the NRA and HMIP for high stress levels as staff from different divisions battled for equal recognition. 'The National Rivers Authority culture has been dominant and people like to do things the way they've always done them, ' he said.

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