Following today’s earlier post about Roseanna Cunningham MSP being appointed the new Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (here), it appears that the former junior position of Minister for Environment has either been chucked, or has been merged with Roseanna’s new role.
Nicola Sturgeon has announced the appointment of other junior Ministers (see here) and there is no mention of a specific Environment Minister. Although obviously, Roseanna Cunningham, as a Cabinet Secretary, is also technically a Minister.
This news can be viewed in two ways. It could be argued that the loss of a junior Environment Minister position could be detrimental (depending on the effectiveness of that junior Minister, of course!) because it means there’s only one person responsible for the Environment portfolio instead of two. However, it could also be argued that the junior Minister (again, depending on who it was) could quite easily cause the Cabinet Secretary to take their eye off the ball of a particular issue if they thought the junior Minister had things in hand, and that junior Minister could then quite easily ‘dilute’ any progress that otherwise might have been made.
The very good news is, as we suggested earlier, Roseanna Cunningham is experienced, strong and decisive. And although her portfolio has been separated and former responsibilities such as agriculture, fisheries, crofting, and food & drink have now been given to another Cabinet Secretary (Fergus Ewing MSP), her remit is still pretty wide but has added emphasis on the Environment. We have every confidence she’ll rise to the challenge and do a better job on her own than the ineffective team of Aileen McLeod and Richard Lochhead.
We look forward to seeing what she can achieve.