26 November 1998
New agency replaces Countryside Commission

THE new body to oversee the management of rural Britain is to be called the Countryside Agency.

The agency has been formed from the merger of the Countryside Commission and the Rural Development Commission. It will begin operating from 1 April next year.

Michael Meacher, the environment minister, has denied speculation that the chairmanship of the new organisation had been offered to William Waldegrave, the former Conservative cabinet minister.