Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture have announced that their Chief Executive Officer Richard Lole is leaving his role after 10 years to become Director of Climate Change Transformation in the Cabinet Office.

He has worked with the Climate Change team in recent years alongside his DEFA role and the move reflects the priority shown towards addressing environmental issues in the new Island Plan, which commits to accelerating the delivery of the Climate Change Route Map.

He will be succeeded at DEFA by Andrew Sidebottom, who will take on the role of Interim CEO from Monday 6 December for a period of three months.

Andrew previously worked in the Department for several years as Director of Forestry, Amenity and Lands. Most recently, he has worked for the past four years as Director of Strategic Asset Management and Valuation in Treasury, developing a more corporate and strategic approach to property management and its integration with capital investment.

Environment, Food and Agriculture Minister Clare Barber MHK said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Andrew back to the Department and very much look forward to working with him on the development and delivery of our plans and vision for the future. I would like to thank Richard for his hard work with DEFA over the last decade and wish him every success as Director of Climate Change.

‘I am confident this change will help ensure DEFA is closely linked to Climate Change and ensure we are working across government coherently.’

Daphne Caine MHK, Chair of the Climate Change Transformation Board, said: ‘Richard has been working on Climate Change for many years and it is great that he is now moving to join the team full-time, as we accelerate our delivery in line with the Island Plan.’

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