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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 Sir Edward Richard George Heath (9 July 191617 July 2005) was a British politician who served as from 1970 to 1974 and from 1965 to 1975. Heath also served for 51 years as a from 1950 to 2001. Outside of politics, Heath was a , a musician, ...
as a combination of the
Ministry of Housing and Local Government The Ministry of Housing and Local Government was a United Kingdom government department formed following the World War II, Second World War, covering the areas of housing and local government. It was formed, as the Ministry of Local Government and ...
, the
Ministry of Transport A ministry of transport or transportation is a Ministry (government department), ministry responsible for transportation within a country. It usually is administered by the ''minister for transport''. The term is also sometimes applied to the Dep ...
and the
Ministry of Public Building and Works Ministry may refer to: Government * Ministry (collective executive), the complete body of government ministers under the leadership of a prime minister * Ministry (government department) Ministry or department, also less commonly used secreta ...
on 15 October 1970. Thus it managed a mixed portfolio of issues: housing and planning, local government, public buildings,
environmental protection Environmental protection is the practice of protecting the natural environment The natural environment or natural world encompasses all and non-living things occurring , meaning in this case not . The term is most often applied to the or s ...
and, initially, transport –
James Callaghan Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, (; 27 March 191226 March 2005) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980. Callaghan is the only person to have held all fo ...

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.Peter Hennessy, ''Whitehall'' p.439 Particularly, the concept of 'inner cities policy', often involving centrally negotiated public-private partnerships and centrally appointed
development corporations Development corporations or development firms are organisations established by governments in several countries for the purpose of urban development. They often are responsible for the development of new suburban areas or the redevelopment of exist ...
, which moved control of many urban areas to the centre, and away from their, often left-wing, local authorities. The department was based in Marsham Towers, three separate tower blocks built for the separate pre-merger ministries, in
Westminster Westminster is a district in Central London Central London is the innermost part of London London is the capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. The city sta ...

Westminster
. 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 The Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions was a United Kingdom Cabinet position created in 1997, with responsibility for the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR). The position and department we ...
(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 Local government is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state A sovereign state is a political entity that is represented by one centralized government that has sovereignty over a geogra ...
. 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 An agriculture ministry (also called an agriculture department, agriculture board, agriculture council, or agriculture agency, or ministry of rural development) is a Ministry (government department), ministry charged with agriculture. The ministry ...
(MAFF), to form the
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the government department Ministry or department, also less commonly used secretariat, office, or directorate are designations used by a first-level Executive (government), ...
(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 The secretary of state for transport, also referred to as the transport secretary, is a Secretary of State (United Kingdom), secretary of state in the Government of the United Kingdom, with overall responsibility for the policies of the Depart ...
(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 An office is generally a building, room (architecture), room or other area where an Organization, organization's employees perform Business administration, administrative Work (human activity), work in order to support and realize objects and ...
.


List of Environment Secretaries


References

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Environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological factors along with their chemical interactions that affect an organism or ...
1970 establishments in the United Kingdom 1997 disestablishments in the United Kingdom