SEPA Chairman, David Sigsworth, Retires


The Chairman of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), David Sigsworth, is retired from his role at the end of December 2015.

David has led SEPA as Chairman since January 2008. In that time he has been instrumental not only in transforming SEPA into a genuinely world-leading environment protection agency, but also in establishing SEPA as a leader in public service reform.

David joined SEPA just as the global economic downturn was beginning to make itself felt, but rather than see this as a threat, he turned it into an opportunity to transform SEPA into a smaller, smarter, and more effective organisation. It began with an overhaul of SEPA’s planning services, went on to make fundamental changes to the Agency’s approach to science, and has now moved into SEPA’s regulatory role. This has included the development with the Scottish Government of the Regulatory Reform Act which provides SEPA with a clear statutory purpose to protect the environment in ways which also result in economic and social benefits. The Act also enables the development of a new regulatory framework, new enforcement powers, and a new charging scheme. Together, these developments are enabling SEPA to regulate in ways which no environment protection agency has done before, an approach which has attracted international recognition.

Earlier this month David received the Holyrood Magazine Public Service Leadership Award, and in the New Year Honours he has been awarded an OBE for his services to the environment and sustainable futures.

David Sigsworth said:

“I want to pay tribute to everybody in SEPA who has worked so diligently to make a reality of the aspirations and commitments I helped put in place, and especially to the three excellent Chief Executives with whom I have served; Campbell Gemmell, James Curran and Terry A’Hearn. This is not a good time to be leaving SEPA, given the interesting challenges ahead, but after two terms I’m obliged to step down.  However, it will be a great time to be joining SEPA, which I believe has a very bright future ahead of it.”

SEPA Chief Executive, Terry A’Hearn said:

“It has been a great pleasure and an inspiration to work with David over the past nine months. He has helped put in place far-reaching reforms not only for SEPA but also more widely in public service provision, and I firmly believe SEPA will cement its position as a world-class environment protection agency over the coming years, largely as a result of his vision. David will be a great loss, but I am also looking forward to working with his successor from the beginning of 2016.”

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