Scottish Executive environment head commutes by jet!

Scotland is fighting to become a very green country. The Scottish Executive is investing £35 million over three years in renewable sources of energy, and there are schemes for rubbish recycling, reduction of emissions, increase of public transport, and so on. Solar panels are even appearing on roadsides to power various electronic equipment.

Then we find that the head of the Scottish Executive department in charge of lowering the greenhouse gas emissions flies a 500 mile round trip every week to commute to work because he doesn’t want to move. Apparently that’s approximately 100kg of carbon each week.


According to the newspaper article in The Scotsman, Richard Wakeford is the top civil servant in the Executive’s environment department and flies from Birmingham to Edinburgh each week. He took up the post, and the travelling, two years ago.

The Scotsman has worked it out for his four year contract, and it comes out at 94,000 air miles (four times around the globe) and almost 20 tonnes of carbon output.

I could reduce emissions right now by sacking him, and frankly they should never have hired him.

According to the story Wakeford “declined” to move to Scotland for family reasons. Well why didn’t the Executive not give him the job then? I understand he might not want to move, but why apply for a job so far away if he had no intention of moving, and why accept him for the role when there’s going to be all this travelling and carbon footprint made?

Apparently it was after he was awarded the job that his intentions not to move became clear. If I had done that in the private industry I’d be out on my ear.

Wakeford and the Executive obviously couldn’t care two hoots about the environment, much less Scotland. Hell, he won’t even live here.

Let’s not think about the amount of money that’s also being spent to fly him back and forward, and where’s he staying for the week once he’s up here? The Travel Inn? Not likely.

The article calculates further environmental disaster. He travels 120 miles round trip from his home to Birmingham Airport and from Edinburgh Aiport to the Executive HQ.

A Scottish Executive spokesman said that his travelling arrangements were a private matter. Maybe in private industry, but not when you’re the head of the Scottish Exectives environment department and are spending taxpayers money to reduce a carbon footprint he’s helping to create.

Here’s some interesting further quotes from the article, which I suggest you do read:

The Executive says it is also committed to “promoting travel behaviour change” and a shift “to more sustainable travel modes”…

…it emerged last week that the Executive clocked up a staggering 7.3 million air miles last year – more than double the previous year’s mileage…the Executive’s travel released some 3,138 tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

What a farce. Common sense is needed here, and precise action. Instead of sitting on their arses and talking about action, couldn’t they just do something? Get rid of him, find someone who will move to Edinburgh or can travel by train, and appoint them.

First order of business for the entire department is to make the Scottish Executive greener, that alone could save thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, not to mention the cost of travelling for the taxpayer.

Sack him and get on with the job.

4 comments on “Scottish Executive environment head commutes by jet!”

  1. pablo Reply

    Thats absurb. Who the hell will listen to these morons if they openly aren’t doing what they are suggesting for everyone else.

    Get rid of this lot and get in another lot(oh dear think that they will be no better though).

    Corruption is such a grey area, but this obvious pants dropping in the public’s face is a disgrace

  2. Richard Brunton Reply

    Here’s an interesting thought about the Scottish Executive getting their house in order first.

    Do all Scottish Executive buildings use energy efficient bulbs?

    I’m not taking bets because I know the way this will go.

  3. Patrick Reply

    I read this in the Scotsman.

    Since I would probably do the same – although I would feel guilty with it – I thought it was a bit of a fuss about nothing.

    Bang go my green credentials…

    Still, the last few times I have been down to London, I’ve gone by train. Much more fun than flying!

  4. weblog.brunton.org.uk Reply

    You don’t care? Well no wonder we’re all going down the tubes!

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