Foot and Mouth Disease 8 May 2001

Alison Halford:

The golf club in Holywell, which has finally been allowed to reopen, feels frustrated at what it sees as buck-passing. I seek clarification, for the third time for my one brain cell. You tell us that the Assembly is an agent of MAFF and that you are responsible for the veterinary service. However, in my view, it seems to have been a case of pass the parcel all the way around. Could you have done anything more to ensure that responsibility for controlling and eradicating this dreadful disease could have been explained more simply to the people who have lost their livelihoods during this crisis? I am not talking about—

The Presiding Officer:

Order. You have asked four questions.

Carwyn Jones:

I am not sure that I understand what the question is getting at.

Alison Halford:

Who is responsible for what?

Carwyn Jones:

I know that you have asked questions previously about Holywell golf club. Any decision about the opening or closure of land is entirely the decision of the local authority and no other body.

Nick Bourne:

You have heard from spokespersons from the other three parties that these weekly statements are useful. We have just heard that a general election has been called. I hope that the lack of weekly statements from now on has nothing to do with that, because they have been valuable. Four new cases of foot and mouth disease have been confirmed in the last week. The weekly statement, therefore, is useful and gives us an opportunity to review the position on compensation, the necessary promotion of tourism and agriculture and so on. I hope that you will reconsider the decision not to give weekly statements, because even if you only have little to say, it means that we are following the situation and keeping tabs on this crisis.

Carwyn Jones:

I will bear in mind what has been said. I have no more statements planned, but if the situation changes, that will change. Members should bear in mind that the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee will continue to meet once a fortnight and I will answer questions in Plenary next week. I will consider the situation afresh at the end of next week.

Val Feld:

The proposals to dump carcasses from the welfare disposal scheme in landfill sites caused a lot of anxiety, particularly in my constituency, where residents live close to the Tir John tip. When do you expect to know the position with the intervention board and, if you find that these landfill sites are not required, will you be able to make that information public as soon as possible, so that people can set their minds to rest?

Carwyn Jones:

The landfill site situation is very fluid. Eight landfill sites are available for use, and it is a matter for the intervention board as to which ones it uses.

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