Another message from another NE staff member

An NE staff member writes:

I work for NE and I applaud your bashing of us, despite how terrible it makes me feel. Keep up the good work, we’ll be abolished soon, given that we seemingly have no support from anywhere. Hopefully I’ll still have a career in the aftermath.

However, there is some good news. The nexus of the disaster that is NE is James Cross. He is leaving. Departing the disaster he has caused.

From the staff I’ve spoken to, the response has been unanimous – thank heavens he’s leaving.

Here’s hoping we get someone good in his stead…

The crying shame is that the one person people would follow at NE is Julie Lunt, but she’s leaving. We’re then left with a potential interim CEO from the obsequious and fatuous specimens in the Senior Leadership Team.

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8 Replies to “Another message from another NE staff member”

  1. Good riddance to James Cross, a disaster from the off. But let’s remember that Defra wanted Ed Mitchell of EA to lead NE but chair Andrew Sells wanted Cross as he was and is more biddable.

    Trouble was that no one bidding him was especially keen on conservation or wildlife, certainly not Defra, nor much good at organisational leadership. Bullying Defra staff isn’t ‘leadership’.

    Cross was invited to present his ‘credentials’ for the role at a Board dinner before his appointment was confirmed, Ed wasn’t. Cross’s Big Claim was that the MMO had cut consenting to 3 days. Yes, but for marker buoys. How hard can that be compared to the casework handled by NE staff?

    Julie is a huge loss.

  2. James Cross is ex CEO of the Marine Management Organisation. Anyone who has had dealings with the MMO will know what I mean when I say "'Nuff said". The MMO is utterly ineffective but massively bureaucratic, particularly when dealing with partner organisations trying to do good things. Bit like NE really, only worse. Yes, it is worse than NE.

    Anyone would think the uselessness of our environmental watchdogs was by design.

  3. I think the writer is wrong: NE will be kept going because of their ineptitude and ineffective, supine stance whenever our wildlife is threatened cf the badger cull. Science at NE is merely a thin veneer over the propaganda machine.

    English Nature was disbanded precisely because it stood up to governmental environmental vandalism. Toeing the party line is the reason NE will remain in existence.

  4. Crumbs. That's a real cri de coeur. I hope their post-Cross career blossoms.

  5. Cross was handed an organisation designed by Wood, Smyllie and Thompson. None of whom had any idea about performance but waffled about outcomes and empowerment. He missed his opportunity to recover from that direction and compounded it by a total lack of governance and unclear accountabilities. He has trashed NES reputation but there is hope beyond his tenure because of the brilliant and devoted people who endured his total lack of leadership.

  6. Well said NE staff member and I salute him or her for having the courage to do this, for it does take courage, a lot.
    Judging from Natual England’s current situation Mr Cross will be no loss at all and his going will hopefully be of considerable benefit. Let’s hope the Phoenix rises from the ashes with the next CEO but judging from this letter this does not seem too likely.
    Of course the real culprits behind all this are the politicians and immediate ministers in Defra. This whole bad ethos and troubles stem from the current party in Government who, with their vested interests, have always disliked NE intensely and are therefore currently Illustrating that dislike most clearly.
    However we must not forget that there are, I am sure, many excellent people still in NE who continue to try to do their very best in incredibly difficult conditions. We must not pour scorn on them when it is the senior management and the politicians that really need our scorn.

    1. I think in fairness to the current political regime, the damage to NE started with vesting in 2006. The first CEO and cohort of Directors were exactly what was not needed. As a result, the seeds of decline were sown early so that the position NE is now in, is almost inevitable. It is important, I think, that at least one of the new Chair or CEO has a true grounding in the business of nature conservation. They need to have the experience to spot trouble coming. Some of the problems in recent years were obvious to many of the troops from the outset but not, seemingly, to those running the show.

  7. Not entirely off-topic:


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