Abolish the beef labelling scheme

The beef labelling scheme was brought in as a panic reaction to BSE.  It is optional, but if you want to make any claims about your beef – eg the breed, you have to enter into the whole scheme and for small producers in particular such as farm shops the cost of audit is disproportionately high.  Small producers in any case are less likely to be importing strange foreign carcasses.  It is outdated unnecessary and adds nothing to traceability or quality

Why is this idea important?

The beef labelling scheme was brought in as a panic reaction to BSE.  It is optional, but if you want to make any claims about your beef – eg the breed, you have to enter into the whole scheme and for small producers in particular such as farm shops the cost of audit is disproportionately high.  Small producers in any case are less likely to be importing strange foreign carcasses.  It is outdated unnecessary and adds nothing to traceability or quality

regulation of green waste disposal [Trade]

Small local tree surgeons are penalised by high costs of transport to landfill sites. Green trade waste could be burned in local areas, i.e. on farms where an arrangement is entered into with the landowner. Waste carrier licences are prohibitively expensive for one man businesses common in our area.

Why is this idea important?

Small local tree surgeons are penalised by high costs of transport to landfill sites. Green trade waste could be burned in local areas, i.e. on farms where an arrangement is entered into with the landowner. Waste carrier licences are prohibitively expensive for one man businesses common in our area.

Remove the requirement for a pre-movement TB test of cattle.

Remove the requirement for a pre-movement TB test of cattle. This is a pointless test because all cattle are tested once a year any way. It has added a huge cost to the industry and extreme inconvenience to the agricultural sector and to the Veterinary businesses that serve it.

Why is this idea important?

Remove the requirement for a pre-movement TB test of cattle. This is a pointless test because all cattle are tested once a year any way. It has added a huge cost to the industry and extreme inconvenience to the agricultural sector and to the Veterinary businesses that serve it.

Remove duplication of animal movement records.

To remove the requirement of cattle keepers to register births, deaths,and movements of cattle with two government bodies- The British Cattle Movement Service and the local County Council. All movements have to reported to the BCMS within so many days of the event occurring, why does the County Council then have to have these same records only once a year? Why can't the County be given access to the national records at BCMS?

Why is this idea important?

To remove the requirement of cattle keepers to register births, deaths,and movements of cattle with two government bodies- The British Cattle Movement Service and the local County Council. All movements have to reported to the BCMS within so many days of the event occurring, why does the County Council then have to have these same records only once a year? Why can't the County be given access to the national records at BCMS?

Abolish The Agricultual Wages Board

Since the instigation on the minimum wage & working time regulations etc  the role of the Agricultural Wages Board should be abolished. 

 The Agricultural sector have to pay wages as set by the terms and conditions of  this board, and cannot employ anyone on the open market as other businesses can.  Its not right and its certainly not fair

 

Why is this idea important?

Since the instigation on the minimum wage & working time regulations etc  the role of the Agricultural Wages Board should be abolished. 

 The Agricultural sector have to pay wages as set by the terms and conditions of  this board, and cannot employ anyone on the open market as other businesses can.  Its not right and its certainly not fair

 

Waste Registration

I am a self employed, small scale gardener. I have recently received a letter from the Environment Agency asking me to pay £150 registration in order for me to carry waste in my van. If I do not pay this sum and I am caught carring any waste "no matter how small" then I may face a fine of up to £5,000.

I fully understand the objective of the the government department – they are looking to clamp down on the illegal dumping of waste which clearly costs the country millions of pounds. It does however simply no make sense.

The fact is that the disposal of waste for legitimate gardeners is so burocratic and expensive that we avoid touching it, leaving the market open for the fly-tippers and cowboys to make a stack at the expense of the public and country. Alternatively customers attempt to burn waste in back gardens or to force it into their black bins. Again this is not the most effective way of waste disposal for the tax payer.

The alternative to me appears simple. Allow small and medium sized commercial vans to take waste to the local dumps provided it is recyclable material which has been correctly broken down into the correct selections (ie. green chipped waste, hardwood, Chipboard etc). I fully accept that material waste that can not be recycled (ie. that will go to land fill) should be paid for.

If this policy were implimented I believe that the dumps would not be over-run by commercial vans. This is because itis not commercially viable to take large quantities of matial to the dump. When I do large scale clearences it makes business sense to hire a skip rather than making multiple visits to the dump. Customers are prepared to pay for skips when such work is done – they do however resent paying for a skip when they want a small quantity of material taken away (as an example I recently knocked down a small old shed). The customer intends burning the wood, whicjh is sad because I could have droped it into the dump to be recycled – but legislation restricts this).

As a gardener many of my customers are either elderly or single women. They often struggle to take items to the dump, and again either dispose of them in a less environmental way (ie failing to recycle it) or they take advantage of the subsidised local government scheme to have the waste collected. Even my own grandmother had the council remove waste for her at a very subsidised rate because the local dump would not accept the waste if I took it. I would like to help my customers and the environment by ensuring these things are recycled.

If you have reached the end of this – thanks for reading. I am a gardener, not a poet so I really hope I have got across what I am trying to say. I am convinced that this would benefit society, the environment and tradesmen.

Why is this idea important?

I am a self employed, small scale gardener. I have recently received a letter from the Environment Agency asking me to pay £150 registration in order for me to carry waste in my van. If I do not pay this sum and I am caught carring any waste "no matter how small" then I may face a fine of up to £5,000.

I fully understand the objective of the the government department – they are looking to clamp down on the illegal dumping of waste which clearly costs the country millions of pounds. It does however simply no make sense.

The fact is that the disposal of waste for legitimate gardeners is so burocratic and expensive that we avoid touching it, leaving the market open for the fly-tippers and cowboys to make a stack at the expense of the public and country. Alternatively customers attempt to burn waste in back gardens or to force it into their black bins. Again this is not the most effective way of waste disposal for the tax payer.

The alternative to me appears simple. Allow small and medium sized commercial vans to take waste to the local dumps provided it is recyclable material which has been correctly broken down into the correct selections (ie. green chipped waste, hardwood, Chipboard etc). I fully accept that material waste that can not be recycled (ie. that will go to land fill) should be paid for.

If this policy were implimented I believe that the dumps would not be over-run by commercial vans. This is because itis not commercially viable to take large quantities of matial to the dump. When I do large scale clearences it makes business sense to hire a skip rather than making multiple visits to the dump. Customers are prepared to pay for skips when such work is done – they do however resent paying for a skip when they want a small quantity of material taken away (as an example I recently knocked down a small old shed). The customer intends burning the wood, whicjh is sad because I could have droped it into the dump to be recycled – but legislation restricts this).

As a gardener many of my customers are either elderly or single women. They often struggle to take items to the dump, and again either dispose of them in a less environmental way (ie failing to recycle it) or they take advantage of the subsidised local government scheme to have the waste collected. Even my own grandmother had the council remove waste for her at a very subsidised rate because the local dump would not accept the waste if I took it. I would like to help my customers and the environment by ensuring these things are recycled.

If you have reached the end of this – thanks for reading. I am a gardener, not a poet so I really hope I have got across what I am trying to say. I am convinced that this would benefit society, the environment and tradesmen.

Remove DEFRA’s right to remove copyright on 3rd sector ideas

I run a not-for-profit organisation that works with communities to tackle energy reduction and adaptation called The Greening Campaign.  We find it very difficult to work with DEFRA because if we have a good idea as soon as we link with DEFRA  for funding, they then state they would publish all our intellectual property rights on the internet.  (They have stated to me in writing that nothing is out of bounds).  This would mean that our intellectual property rights are handed to our competitors (and all funding is secured on a competitive level for the 3rd sector).  Future funding would then mean we could be competing against our own ideas and developed programmes which would undermine our organisation.  This means we to date have not worked with DEFRA which is a great shame.  We are currently working with about 200 communities and would love to link this in to the government agenda as we work closely with local councils but cannot find a way to make the final link in the chain – central government. 

Why is this idea important?

I run a not-for-profit organisation that works with communities to tackle energy reduction and adaptation called The Greening Campaign.  We find it very difficult to work with DEFRA because if we have a good idea as soon as we link with DEFRA  for funding, they then state they would publish all our intellectual property rights on the internet.  (They have stated to me in writing that nothing is out of bounds).  This would mean that our intellectual property rights are handed to our competitors (and all funding is secured on a competitive level for the 3rd sector).  Future funding would then mean we could be competing against our own ideas and developed programmes which would undermine our organisation.  This means we to date have not worked with DEFRA which is a great shame.  We are currently working with about 200 communities and would love to link this in to the government agenda as we work closely with local councils but cannot find a way to make the final link in the chain – central government. 

reform the way sell by dates work

I feel there is alot of food wasted because of sell by and use by dates, of course it is a good idea to have these on very perishable foods such as dairy products , pre pact meat and cooked items but do we really need them on bags of veg or fruit or at least the restiction that they cannot be sold once that date has past should be lifted, as long as the item is clearly labled as sold as seen some one should be able to buy it at a much reduced cost. I recently went to the local shop to buy carrots i was told i could not have any even though i could clearly see they had some , but even though they were ok because the date on them was for the previous day they could not sell them. What is needed is a rethink of these regs to make them clearer and remove some of the restrictions.

Why is this idea important?

I feel there is alot of food wasted because of sell by and use by dates, of course it is a good idea to have these on very perishable foods such as dairy products , pre pact meat and cooked items but do we really need them on bags of veg or fruit or at least the restiction that they cannot be sold once that date has past should be lifted, as long as the item is clearly labled as sold as seen some one should be able to buy it at a much reduced cost. I recently went to the local shop to buy carrots i was told i could not have any even though i could clearly see they had some , but even though they were ok because the date on them was for the previous day they could not sell them. What is needed is a rethink of these regs to make them clearer and remove some of the restrictions.

Scrap several DEFRA quangos and their laws and regulations

The government formed The Board of Agriculture in 1889 to encourage greater productivity and further farming interests. It employed 90 people and had an annual budget of £55,000. At that time of course it was accepted that the proletariat or hoi polloi needed managing and controlling and a Board run by aristocrats and officer class types was absolutely essential to be run effectively.

Of course, like all government organisations this one grew and grew and grew and by 19129 was calling itself The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and during WW1 it created the Women’s Land Army and began bossing farmers about.

WW2 allowed the monster to become all powerful digging for victory, commandeering land with power to take over land, leases, tenancies etc and it became the sole buyer and importer of food.

By 1955 it became the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and |Food and took control of all scientific work being done on behalf of food and farming, all technology transfer and got involved in every aspect of a farmers life. Much of the grant aid given out by them was simply to allow farmers here to compete against government subsidised farmers exporting to us.

In 2002 the Ministry became a Department of DEFRA a massive organisation employing over 13, 000 people and spending almost £3 billion a year.

Unfortunately much of the legislation that started projects off and caused red tape and regulations to be implemented and policed are now no longer necessary but they have in fact grown and grown and are now an expensive anachronism that I propose should be scrapped to include all the legislation that they were authorised with.

My starter list of quangos and their laws and regulations are:

  1. Organic standards advisory committee….should not be a gov. organisation
  2. Packaging standards advisory committee…nothing to do with government
  3. Agricultural dwelling house advisory committee….time expired
  4. Agricultural wages board…time expired
  5. Agricultural wages board committees England (all 15) …ok when Victoria was Queen
  6. British Potato Council……gov. not needed in such a body
  7. British Wool Marketing Board….anachronism, nothing to do with government
  8. English Farming and Food Partnership…..chattering talk shop
  9. Farm Animal Welfare Council……doing the job of the RSPCA or should be.
  10. Home Grown Cereals Authority…OK when the Nazis were threatening to invade but inappropriate now.
  11. Horticultural Development Company recently Council…………………..nothing to do with government, it is a trade organisation.
  12. Independent science group on TB in cattle…nothing to do with government…industry should do its own R&D and planning
  13. Meat and Livestock Commission…an anachronism, nothing to do with government
  14. Milk Development Council….as for Meat
  15. National Fallen Stock Company……………………a bunch of zealots who ruined livestock farming in this country
  16. National Non Food Crops Centre………………………….nothing to do with government
  17. Plant Variety and seeds tribunal..an anachronism implementing daft EU laws banning varieties and seeds by committee…a nonsense
  18. Veterinary residues committee…nothing to do with government
  19. State Vet agency…why do we need a state vet or rather 1200 of them?
  20. Veterinary Medical Directorate…another bunch of red tapers.

And a further one, The Forestry Commission….why should HM Gov be running the biggest forest company in the UK?  OK in Communist Russia but inappropriate here nowadays.

Why is this idea important?

The government formed The Board of Agriculture in 1889 to encourage greater productivity and further farming interests. It employed 90 people and had an annual budget of £55,000. At that time of course it was accepted that the proletariat or hoi polloi needed managing and controlling and a Board run by aristocrats and officer class types was absolutely essential to be run effectively.

Of course, like all government organisations this one grew and grew and grew and by 19129 was calling itself The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and during WW1 it created the Women’s Land Army and began bossing farmers about.

WW2 allowed the monster to become all powerful digging for victory, commandeering land with power to take over land, leases, tenancies etc and it became the sole buyer and importer of food.

By 1955 it became the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and |Food and took control of all scientific work being done on behalf of food and farming, all technology transfer and got involved in every aspect of a farmers life. Much of the grant aid given out by them was simply to allow farmers here to compete against government subsidised farmers exporting to us.

In 2002 the Ministry became a Department of DEFRA a massive organisation employing over 13, 000 people and spending almost £3 billion a year.

Unfortunately much of the legislation that started projects off and caused red tape and regulations to be implemented and policed are now no longer necessary but they have in fact grown and grown and are now an expensive anachronism that I propose should be scrapped to include all the legislation that they were authorised with.

My starter list of quangos and their laws and regulations are:

  1. Organic standards advisory committee….should not be a gov. organisation
  2. Packaging standards advisory committee…nothing to do with government
  3. Agricultural dwelling house advisory committee….time expired
  4. Agricultural wages board…time expired
  5. Agricultural wages board committees England (all 15) …ok when Victoria was Queen
  6. British Potato Council……gov. not needed in such a body
  7. British Wool Marketing Board….anachronism, nothing to do with government
  8. English Farming and Food Partnership…..chattering talk shop
  9. Farm Animal Welfare Council……doing the job of the RSPCA or should be.
  10. Home Grown Cereals Authority…OK when the Nazis were threatening to invade but inappropriate now.
  11. Horticultural Development Company recently Council…………………..nothing to do with government, it is a trade organisation.
  12. Independent science group on TB in cattle…nothing to do with government…industry should do its own R&D and planning
  13. Meat and Livestock Commission…an anachronism, nothing to do with government
  14. Milk Development Council….as for Meat
  15. National Fallen Stock Company……………………a bunch of zealots who ruined livestock farming in this country
  16. National Non Food Crops Centre………………………….nothing to do with government
  17. Plant Variety and seeds tribunal..an anachronism implementing daft EU laws banning varieties and seeds by committee…a nonsense
  18. Veterinary residues committee…nothing to do with government
  19. State Vet agency…why do we need a state vet or rather 1200 of them?
  20. Veterinary Medical Directorate…another bunch of red tapers.

And a further one, The Forestry Commission….why should HM Gov be running the biggest forest company in the UK?  OK in Communist Russia but inappropriate here nowadays.

Ongoing Competency in Certificates of Technical Competency

Dear Sir,

 

Firstly I would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit an idea.  This is a refreshing idea from the new coalition government.

 

I would like to bring to your attention an item of increased legislation that is of little or no use, and are of considerable cost to local business.

 

The item in question is that of Ongoing Competency in Certificates of Technical Competency.   These certificates were awarded to people who hand trained and shown a level deemed to be to such a standard that they were worthy of this professional qualification.  The training and assessment for the professional qualification was considerable and as such the Environment Agency told us that this qualification was for life.  It was also necessary to obtain this to continue operating any Waste Handling Facility.  Recently however they have told us that we must undergo further training and assessment to continue any work in this area.  We must now take a multi-choice test to ensure that we are still technically competent.  Firstly I find this an insult to the year of work it took for me to past and obtain this qualification and secondly I find it to be of little or no use in ensuring that standards are being met.

Why is this idea important?

Dear Sir,

 

Firstly I would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit an idea.  This is a refreshing idea from the new coalition government.

 

I would like to bring to your attention an item of increased legislation that is of little or no use, and are of considerable cost to local business.

 

The item in question is that of Ongoing Competency in Certificates of Technical Competency.   These certificates were awarded to people who hand trained and shown a level deemed to be to such a standard that they were worthy of this professional qualification.  The training and assessment for the professional qualification was considerable and as such the Environment Agency told us that this qualification was for life.  It was also necessary to obtain this to continue operating any Waste Handling Facility.  Recently however they have told us that we must undergo further training and assessment to continue any work in this area.  We must now take a multi-choice test to ensure that we are still technically competent.  Firstly I find this an insult to the year of work it took for me to past and obtain this qualification and secondly I find it to be of little or no use in ensuring that standards are being met.

Increase import tax on food items

We all know about the decline in our own farming. There are many programmes on television now showing us how and where our food is produced and we all want to reduce our food air miles.

With companies like Mc Donalds importing their chicken from south America because it is cheaper, surely it would be of benifit to increase import tax on such products so that our farmers could supply firms like these.

Buying food items out of season, as we all know, is now a way of life, and I dont think we would be able to change the mindset of the general public, but making out of season imported food items more expensive, then we may start to change the buying habits of a lot of people looking for cheaper produce at that time of year. Which will be non imported british grown food.

It may well be impractical to increase import tax on all food items, but surely we could start with the food items we know we can produce well in this country. Cows, sheep,pigs and chicken. The government should make it impossible for a person to buy a lamb cheaper from New Zealand than from Wales.

Finally, with UK farmers employimg more staff and making more money for themselves, this would increase the amount of income tax paid, which also helps the british economy.

Its all very well and good buying meat, fruit and vegetables from overseas, but it shouldnt be so cheap to do so.

Why is this idea important?

We all know about the decline in our own farming. There are many programmes on television now showing us how and where our food is produced and we all want to reduce our food air miles.

With companies like Mc Donalds importing their chicken from south America because it is cheaper, surely it would be of benifit to increase import tax on such products so that our farmers could supply firms like these.

Buying food items out of season, as we all know, is now a way of life, and I dont think we would be able to change the mindset of the general public, but making out of season imported food items more expensive, then we may start to change the buying habits of a lot of people looking for cheaper produce at that time of year. Which will be non imported british grown food.

It may well be impractical to increase import tax on all food items, but surely we could start with the food items we know we can produce well in this country. Cows, sheep,pigs and chicken. The government should make it impossible for a person to buy a lamb cheaper from New Zealand than from Wales.

Finally, with UK farmers employimg more staff and making more money for themselves, this would increase the amount of income tax paid, which also helps the british economy.

Its all very well and good buying meat, fruit and vegetables from overseas, but it shouldnt be so cheap to do so.

Unfettered outdoor advertisement

PROPOSAL

Repeal the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations, the roadside advertisement provisions of the Highways Act and teh Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act.

REASON

This is the most universal form of civil disobedience and criminal negligence carried out across Britain today.  It is ignored by the tens of thousands of perpetrators and beneficiaries,

It is also actively and negligently disregarded and tacitly accepted by all the Government Agencies from the Planning Officers, Environmental Health Officers, Highways Inspectors and others charged with control and enforcement. 

 

Why is this idea important?

PROPOSAL

Repeal the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations, the roadside advertisement provisions of the Highways Act and teh Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act.

REASON

This is the most universal form of civil disobedience and criminal negligence carried out across Britain today.  It is ignored by the tens of thousands of perpetrators and beneficiaries,

It is also actively and negligently disregarded and tacitly accepted by all the Government Agencies from the Planning Officers, Environmental Health Officers, Highways Inspectors and others charged with control and enforcement. 

 

Sustainabilty – Civil Service pensions

Everyone is aware of the current financial climate and the aims of all and sundry with regard to sustainabilty.Clearly this country and others cannot afford the increasing triple burden created of many years of an expanding Public Sector, linked to final salary indexlinked pensions and the possibilty of early retirement. It is clearly also the single largest non sustainble item in the UK's present and future planning.That it has been identified in the past and no action taken for many years is testament to the power of the Civil Service, and Local Government to maintain it's vested interest by threats of action, implied or real.The Health Service is now so mis managed in spite of increased funds paying for thousands of adminstrators producing meaningless data that few will ever act upon.

So idea 1- Phase out final pension schemes over five years with no new entrants to the scheme from Jan 1 2011. Have the same pension scheme as the private sector and phase in same retirement age.

Administrative staff in the NHS to apply for patient facing positions where qualifications exist and cut adminstration numbers by 20% By July 2011 _ Same targets for local councils,and Government depts average ie somew higher some lower.

 

Idea 2 Phase out March 31 st Dealines for spending a fixed budget and have a rolling published P&L. Savings to be kept by the authority.

 

Idea 3 Full access to be given to real costs to outside contractors when tendering – and targets of 20% reduction in hours and labour costs to be targeted.

 

Idea 4 As redundancies occur cap all payments.

 

Idea 5 Allow all economic immigration with a sponsor, job and financial backing. Stop all Housing Benefit, Employment Benefit and Healthcare for all who have not been resident for 5 years.

 

Idea 6. Reduce Draconian  planning laws and allow ribbon development to farmers where they have been in occupation for 10 years

Why is this idea important?

Everyone is aware of the current financial climate and the aims of all and sundry with regard to sustainabilty.Clearly this country and others cannot afford the increasing triple burden created of many years of an expanding Public Sector, linked to final salary indexlinked pensions and the possibilty of early retirement. It is clearly also the single largest non sustainble item in the UK's present and future planning.That it has been identified in the past and no action taken for many years is testament to the power of the Civil Service, and Local Government to maintain it's vested interest by threats of action, implied or real.The Health Service is now so mis managed in spite of increased funds paying for thousands of adminstrators producing meaningless data that few will ever act upon.

So idea 1- Phase out final pension schemes over five years with no new entrants to the scheme from Jan 1 2011. Have the same pension scheme as the private sector and phase in same retirement age.

Administrative staff in the NHS to apply for patient facing positions where qualifications exist and cut adminstration numbers by 20% By July 2011 _ Same targets for local councils,and Government depts average ie somew higher some lower.

 

Idea 2 Phase out March 31 st Dealines for spending a fixed budget and have a rolling published P&L. Savings to be kept by the authority.

 

Idea 3 Full access to be given to real costs to outside contractors when tendering – and targets of 20% reduction in hours and labour costs to be targeted.

 

Idea 4 As redundancies occur cap all payments.

 

Idea 5 Allow all economic immigration with a sponsor, job and financial backing. Stop all Housing Benefit, Employment Benefit and Healthcare for all who have not been resident for 5 years.

 

Idea 6. Reduce Draconian  planning laws and allow ribbon development to farmers where they have been in occupation for 10 years

Cutting red tape for small farms

Much of the damage to wildlife results from big farms with big fields all doing the same thing at the same time. Small farms (less then 100 acres) have smaller fields, and have an economic need to do things differently from their neighbours.

Small farms do not get the commercial discounts that their larger neighbours get. They also suffer from having to pay minimum charges for many services required under European Waste Directive etc. Sometimes the minimum charge is larger then the entire profit on small enterprises. Householders get the same ammount of rubbish disposed of free.

Livestock disposal cost is much higher for small farms then for large farms. On one occasion I calculated that we paid more per kilogram to dispose of 2 still born lambs then a large commercial farm paid in fines and disposal costs after illegally disposing of nearly 200tons of carcasses.

Electronic Identification of sheep (EID) costs much more for a small flock then for a large one. Officially the cost is about 60p, but after the cost of the application tool is taken into account it costs about £2.00 a sheep for our flock. (We couldn't possibly buy the machine which reads the tags)

Transport licences: We have a rare breed flock and need to buy in one ram every 3 years to avoid in-breeding. The nearest flock of the same breed is over 100 miles away. (We provide a unique insurance against foot and mouth etc for this breed that only has about 500 sheep in the world) Without a licence we can only transport our sheep 40km. Getting the licence for transporting our own sheep would cost £150 and involve 2 days away from our small business. Paying anyone else to transport them would cost more. 

Farmers get their ORDERS from DEFRA, and sometimes (in our case) from the Welsh Assembly (WA). The division of responsibilities bewteen these two organisations is not clear. Sometimes the WA website just links straight through to DEFRA, sometimes neither seems to have relavant information.

We have to apply for Rural Payements Agency forms to the local WA Dept of Ag office. We have a very reliable local postal service, but vital Rural Payements Agency forms often go missing. After 10 years, and having completely lost the opportunity to get Single Farm Payments because of undelivered forms, I have only just discovered that the forms are posted to Wales from somewhere in England. What is worse, WA Dept Ag staff do not even know where the forms actually come from! THis makes affective chasing of lost forms almost impossible.

When we were turned down for Single Farm Payment we were told that there was a two stage appeal. We tried the first stage, but couldn't go onto the second stage because the charge was more then we had in the bank, and was about 25% of the payment we would have gained if the appeal was succesful.

Surprisingly, having failed to get SFP we were told we could still get Tyr Cynnal (Entry level environment scheme) We would have to stick to a management scheme. I wrote out a scheme that had succesfully supported summer Grasshopper Warblers and winter Snipe but as soon as I presented it it was screwed up and thrown on the floor. We were told to obey a plan from Brussels. The field cannot be grazed or topped at the time Brussels allows as it is usually waterlogged at that time of year. The field is now swamped with rushes, we have lost the Grasshopper Warblers and Snipe and are losing the very rare Whorled Carraway which used to blossom there. I have seen no new species. Although we run the farm as a nature reserve with 1/2 acres fields the extra boundary regulations took 16% of our land out of production.

Also there are no grants available to help very small farms to diversify into non farming enterprises. All that are available require match funding that exceeds that available from cash flow. Banks are, apparently, not interested in small rural enterprises. 

I am sure that many farmers have similar stories and can give many other examples of damaging red tape.

  

Why is this idea important?

Much of the damage to wildlife results from big farms with big fields all doing the same thing at the same time. Small farms (less then 100 acres) have smaller fields, and have an economic need to do things differently from their neighbours.

Small farms do not get the commercial discounts that their larger neighbours get. They also suffer from having to pay minimum charges for many services required under European Waste Directive etc. Sometimes the minimum charge is larger then the entire profit on small enterprises. Householders get the same ammount of rubbish disposed of free.

Livestock disposal cost is much higher for small farms then for large farms. On one occasion I calculated that we paid more per kilogram to dispose of 2 still born lambs then a large commercial farm paid in fines and disposal costs after illegally disposing of nearly 200tons of carcasses.

Electronic Identification of sheep (EID) costs much more for a small flock then for a large one. Officially the cost is about 60p, but after the cost of the application tool is taken into account it costs about £2.00 a sheep for our flock. (We couldn't possibly buy the machine which reads the tags)

Transport licences: We have a rare breed flock and need to buy in one ram every 3 years to avoid in-breeding. The nearest flock of the same breed is over 100 miles away. (We provide a unique insurance against foot and mouth etc for this breed that only has about 500 sheep in the world) Without a licence we can only transport our sheep 40km. Getting the licence for transporting our own sheep would cost £150 and involve 2 days away from our small business. Paying anyone else to transport them would cost more. 

Farmers get their ORDERS from DEFRA, and sometimes (in our case) from the Welsh Assembly (WA). The division of responsibilities bewteen these two organisations is not clear. Sometimes the WA website just links straight through to DEFRA, sometimes neither seems to have relavant information.

We have to apply for Rural Payements Agency forms to the local WA Dept of Ag office. We have a very reliable local postal service, but vital Rural Payements Agency forms often go missing. After 10 years, and having completely lost the opportunity to get Single Farm Payments because of undelivered forms, I have only just discovered that the forms are posted to Wales from somewhere in England. What is worse, WA Dept Ag staff do not even know where the forms actually come from! THis makes affective chasing of lost forms almost impossible.

When we were turned down for Single Farm Payment we were told that there was a two stage appeal. We tried the first stage, but couldn't go onto the second stage because the charge was more then we had in the bank, and was about 25% of the payment we would have gained if the appeal was succesful.

Surprisingly, having failed to get SFP we were told we could still get Tyr Cynnal (Entry level environment scheme) We would have to stick to a management scheme. I wrote out a scheme that had succesfully supported summer Grasshopper Warblers and winter Snipe but as soon as I presented it it was screwed up and thrown on the floor. We were told to obey a plan from Brussels. The field cannot be grazed or topped at the time Brussels allows as it is usually waterlogged at that time of year. The field is now swamped with rushes, we have lost the Grasshopper Warblers and Snipe and are losing the very rare Whorled Carraway which used to blossom there. I have seen no new species. Although we run the farm as a nature reserve with 1/2 acres fields the extra boundary regulations took 16% of our land out of production.

Also there are no grants available to help very small farms to diversify into non farming enterprises. All that are available require match funding that exceeds that available from cash flow. Banks are, apparently, not interested in small rural enterprises. 

I am sure that many farmers have similar stories and can give many other examples of damaging red tape.

  

Reduce Environmental Regulatory Burden – The Mining Waste Directive: One Step Too Far.

 

Simple put: Why would a large multinational company invest money in the UK? It's easier and there would be a higher rate of return if they invested their money else where. Our increasingly restrictive environmental legalisation is going to finish the UK Extractive Industry for good. 

I work for a large multinational company as a geologist in the UK's Extractive Materials Industry. We supply materials such as aggregates, cement, asphalt and concrete, so that the UK can build and grow.

The company however (and the industry as a whole) is really suffering in the economic downturn, with volumes declining by up to 50%.

There is one thing however that's not declining, and that's the amount of Environmental Legalisation that continues to be implemented, seemingly on a monthly basis, and the industry just cannot cope with it. The minerals industry desperately needs the regulatory burden to be eased.

The latest piece of major legalisation to shortly affect my company is the Mining Waste Directive, which has been interpreted from EU Law by DEFRA and is being implemented by the EA. This is a completely useless and unbeneficial piece of legislation, as everything the new directive covers is already covered in other legislation!  It is pure and simple unnecessary duplication.

The UK quarrying industry (which is already the most legislated and safest in the whole world) ALREADY has two main tiers which govern every move that the industry makes. These are Planning Permissions and the HSE 1999 Quarries Regulations. Legalisation that the industry works well with.

By way of a very short account of what this entails, the means that every soil bund, material stockpile, silt pond and excavation is covered by a planning permission, a restoration plan, method of working plan, phasing plan, H&S risk assessments, geotechnical stability analysis, archaeological studies, ecological studies, dust studies, air quality studies, hydrogeological risk assessments, flood studies….. I could go on.

We now have to add to this Environmental Permits and (which cost money!) so that the EA can approve, along with the Planning Authority and the HSE where we are allowed to place bunds, stockpiles and ponds.

Just drop the Mining Waste Directive…. it really isn't required. It's for other less well regulated countries from the EU, where there isn’t ANY existing regulation in place.

Senior Geologist from the UK Minerals Industry

Why is this idea important?

 

Simple put: Why would a large multinational company invest money in the UK? It's easier and there would be a higher rate of return if they invested their money else where. Our increasingly restrictive environmental legalisation is going to finish the UK Extractive Industry for good. 

I work for a large multinational company as a geologist in the UK's Extractive Materials Industry. We supply materials such as aggregates, cement, asphalt and concrete, so that the UK can build and grow.

The company however (and the industry as a whole) is really suffering in the economic downturn, with volumes declining by up to 50%.

There is one thing however that's not declining, and that's the amount of Environmental Legalisation that continues to be implemented, seemingly on a monthly basis, and the industry just cannot cope with it. The minerals industry desperately needs the regulatory burden to be eased.

The latest piece of major legalisation to shortly affect my company is the Mining Waste Directive, which has been interpreted from EU Law by DEFRA and is being implemented by the EA. This is a completely useless and unbeneficial piece of legislation, as everything the new directive covers is already covered in other legislation!  It is pure and simple unnecessary duplication.

The UK quarrying industry (which is already the most legislated and safest in the whole world) ALREADY has two main tiers which govern every move that the industry makes. These are Planning Permissions and the HSE 1999 Quarries Regulations. Legalisation that the industry works well with.

By way of a very short account of what this entails, the means that every soil bund, material stockpile, silt pond and excavation is covered by a planning permission, a restoration plan, method of working plan, phasing plan, H&S risk assessments, geotechnical stability analysis, archaeological studies, ecological studies, dust studies, air quality studies, hydrogeological risk assessments, flood studies….. I could go on.

We now have to add to this Environmental Permits and (which cost money!) so that the EA can approve, along with the Planning Authority and the HSE where we are allowed to place bunds, stockpiles and ponds.

Just drop the Mining Waste Directive…. it really isn't required. It's for other less well regulated countries from the EU, where there isn’t ANY existing regulation in place.

Senior Geologist from the UK Minerals Industry

Scrap the Plant Passport Laws

The Ministry of Fun and Crazy Risk Aversion certainly was around when DEFRA, or was it MAFF introduced the Plant Passport Laws.This is not a joke, it is a very complex system of paperwork, registers, permits , inspectors and little Passport tickets for plants, especially for plants that come from abroad, including the EU.

Of course the Civil Service will say, Mr Humphrey style, "that it is in the interest of environmental security and safety that all plants casn be traced when being moved from commercial premises to other commercial premises." The fact that as soon as Joe Public buys the plants and moves them to a garden or farm  and that  no traceability is then required just shows that the whole Plant Passport nonsense is nothing more than a jobs for the boys scheme; work creation and another burden to the taxpayer and commercial sector.

The public were given dire scenarios by DEFRA that all the Rhododendrons and Oaks in England would die within a year if the passports weren't brought in ranks among all the other scares we have had as just another misinformed government department panicking and creating work for the sake of it. We had eggs; we had millenium bugs; we had Spanish Flu; we had the slaughter of millions of healthy animals by Blairs Barbarians and yet Plant Passports are still the Law.

All plant passports do is cost money, time and keep jobsworths employed.

Why is this idea important?

The Ministry of Fun and Crazy Risk Aversion certainly was around when DEFRA, or was it MAFF introduced the Plant Passport Laws.This is not a joke, it is a very complex system of paperwork, registers, permits , inspectors and little Passport tickets for plants, especially for plants that come from abroad, including the EU.

Of course the Civil Service will say, Mr Humphrey style, "that it is in the interest of environmental security and safety that all plants casn be traced when being moved from commercial premises to other commercial premises." The fact that as soon as Joe Public buys the plants and moves them to a garden or farm  and that  no traceability is then required just shows that the whole Plant Passport nonsense is nothing more than a jobs for the boys scheme; work creation and another burden to the taxpayer and commercial sector.

The public were given dire scenarios by DEFRA that all the Rhododendrons and Oaks in England would die within a year if the passports weren't brought in ranks among all the other scares we have had as just another misinformed government department panicking and creating work for the sake of it. We had eggs; we had millenium bugs; we had Spanish Flu; we had the slaughter of millions of healthy animals by Blairs Barbarians and yet Plant Passports are still the Law.

All plant passports do is cost money, time and keep jobsworths employed.

Keep and strengthen the Hunting Act (2004)

The Hunting Act had the support of the majority of the country and the majority of MPs in Parliament. Despite a change in government, the opinion polls still show that the Act should be kept, and even strengthened, to prevent huntsmen exploiting legal loopholes in order to continue with their cruel sport.

The 'town-versus-country' argument is promoted by pro-hunting organisations to be deliberately divisive.

This issue has been dealt with. The public spoke. The arguments were considered and a vote was taken. To engineer a repeal of the Act would be undemocratic and would only serve to please a very few people who take pleasure in seeing life extinguished.

Why is this idea important?

The Hunting Act had the support of the majority of the country and the majority of MPs in Parliament. Despite a change in government, the opinion polls still show that the Act should be kept, and even strengthened, to prevent huntsmen exploiting legal loopholes in order to continue with their cruel sport.

The 'town-versus-country' argument is promoted by pro-hunting organisations to be deliberately divisive.

This issue has been dealt with. The public spoke. The arguments were considered and a vote was taken. To engineer a repeal of the Act would be undemocratic and would only serve to please a very few people who take pleasure in seeing life extinguished.

Claim back traditional fishing grounds from Iceland

British fishing communities were devastated in the late 1970's by the introduction of a 200 mile exclusion zone for fishing around the waters of Iceland.  These were the traditional fishing grounds for Scottish and northern ports.  The Cod War ended when the UK Government conceded to this exclusion zone due to threats that Iceland would withdraw NATO radar defence monitoring. 

In 2008 the Icelandic Air Defence System became obsolete, serving no military purpose for the UK.  Although the Icelandic president has since sought to offer the monitoring system to the Russian's in return for financial and military support the Russians have stated quite clearly that they have no need for the system.  The agreement to prevent UK trawlers from fishing within 200 miles of Iceland therefore does not now serve any national interest.

After serving as a key culprit in the global financial meltdown (and since also throwing the aviation system in to havoc with the eruption of their volcano) the Icelandic people have now voted to shirk their responsibility of repaying money lost by UK individuals and organisations who saved and invested in Icelandic banks.  Besides contributing to the economic death of UK fishing communities, the £ billions lost in fishing revenue over the last half century, the Icelandic people have now effectively stolen £ billions more from the UK.

Now Iceland wants to join the EU !!! David Cameron has quite rightly indicated that Iceland should first seek to come to a reasonable arrangement regarding repayment of the banking debt.  However this does not go far enough. Membership of the EU should require that the 200 mile exclusion zone for fishing be overturned.

As a country we now have no reason to respect this exclusion zone.  We therefore request that the UK government seek to support UK industry by providing naval support for fishing in the North Atlantic, and by reclaiming our traditional fishing grounds.

Why is this idea important?

British fishing communities were devastated in the late 1970's by the introduction of a 200 mile exclusion zone for fishing around the waters of Iceland.  These were the traditional fishing grounds for Scottish and northern ports.  The Cod War ended when the UK Government conceded to this exclusion zone due to threats that Iceland would withdraw NATO radar defence monitoring. 

In 2008 the Icelandic Air Defence System became obsolete, serving no military purpose for the UK.  Although the Icelandic president has since sought to offer the monitoring system to the Russian's in return for financial and military support the Russians have stated quite clearly that they have no need for the system.  The agreement to prevent UK trawlers from fishing within 200 miles of Iceland therefore does not now serve any national interest.

After serving as a key culprit in the global financial meltdown (and since also throwing the aviation system in to havoc with the eruption of their volcano) the Icelandic people have now voted to shirk their responsibility of repaying money lost by UK individuals and organisations who saved and invested in Icelandic banks.  Besides contributing to the economic death of UK fishing communities, the £ billions lost in fishing revenue over the last half century, the Icelandic people have now effectively stolen £ billions more from the UK.

Now Iceland wants to join the EU !!! David Cameron has quite rightly indicated that Iceland should first seek to come to a reasonable arrangement regarding repayment of the banking debt.  However this does not go far enough. Membership of the EU should require that the 200 mile exclusion zone for fishing be overturned.

As a country we now have no reason to respect this exclusion zone.  We therefore request that the UK government seek to support UK industry by providing naval support for fishing in the North Atlantic, and by reclaiming our traditional fishing grounds.

let milk be milk – repealing pasteurisation laws

To allow organic farmers to sell their milk unpasteurised once again – as far as I can tell, this is due to economic pressure by the FSA (food standards authority)

Why is this idea important?

To allow organic farmers to sell their milk unpasteurised once again – as far as I can tell, this is due to economic pressure by the FSA (food standards authority)

Abolish the Cattle Passport Scheme and The British Cattle Movement Service

Cattle Passports were first introduced in 1996 as part of the Government’s strategy to eradicate BSE. Since 1996 the incidence of BSE has declined significantly – occurrences of BSE in the UK are now rare. I would suggest that the old movements recording system (as used pre 1996) would be more than adequate given the present situation.

The Cattle Passports are something of a nightmare for farmers – for instance if a passport is lost an animal is effectively valueless.

Why is this idea important?

Cattle Passports were first introduced in 1996 as part of the Government’s strategy to eradicate BSE. Since 1996 the incidence of BSE has declined significantly – occurrences of BSE in the UK are now rare. I would suggest that the old movements recording system (as used pre 1996) would be more than adequate given the present situation.

The Cattle Passports are something of a nightmare for farmers – for instance if a passport is lost an animal is effectively valueless.

Scrap green waste composting laws and regulations

It is not commonly known that all green waste composting on farms an d commercial premises must go through a range of hoops involving several faceless regulators and inspectors at DEFRA and farmers are also required to obtain Planning Permission from the local authority. This requires accurate plans and grid refernces to be drawn up and plotted and often takes months.

Example a farmer wishes to compost his hedge clippings and agricyultural waste from say peelings. old cabbage leaves etc. He would also like to add green waste from landscapers and councils. He would be replenishing his soil, improving fertility, water efficiency etc. Farmers have been doing this around the globe for over 5,000 years.

Suddenly in the late 20th century and 21st century rafts of regulation, form filling, inspections and general red tape are required in the name of health and safety and environmental protection.

This is but one example of the nonsense DEFRA and MAFF have foisted on farmers, The Environment Agency is a quango employing over 13,000 people………………………..most of them ordering us about.

This law shopuld be abolished along with many like it. Guidelines are more than adequate for green compost production.Planning Permits and dauily temperature readings etc are simply bureacracy gone mad.

Why is this idea important?

It is not commonly known that all green waste composting on farms an d commercial premises must go through a range of hoops involving several faceless regulators and inspectors at DEFRA and farmers are also required to obtain Planning Permission from the local authority. This requires accurate plans and grid refernces to be drawn up and plotted and often takes months.

Example a farmer wishes to compost his hedge clippings and agricyultural waste from say peelings. old cabbage leaves etc. He would also like to add green waste from landscapers and councils. He would be replenishing his soil, improving fertility, water efficiency etc. Farmers have been doing this around the globe for over 5,000 years.

Suddenly in the late 20th century and 21st century rafts of regulation, form filling, inspections and general red tape are required in the name of health and safety and environmental protection.

This is but one example of the nonsense DEFRA and MAFF have foisted on farmers, The Environment Agency is a quango employing over 13,000 people………………………..most of them ordering us about.

This law shopuld be abolished along with many like it. Guidelines are more than adequate for green compost production.Planning Permits and dauily temperature readings etc are simply bureacracy gone mad.

remove forced membership in order to carry out Gas,Solar,Electrical installation

Remove the burden of having to attend expensive cources and membership fees  in order to carry out installation of Gas, Solar, electrical and water services for the small business.Proof of having served a recognised apprentiship should be adequate along with regular training from the Manufactures which is most of the time given free, would free up money for investment by smaller firms and allow them too compete for more contracts and pass on savings on installation of energy saving products.

Why is this idea important?

Remove the burden of having to attend expensive cources and membership fees  in order to carry out installation of Gas, Solar, electrical and water services for the small business.Proof of having served a recognised apprentiship should be adequate along with regular training from the Manufactures which is most of the time given free, would free up money for investment by smaller firms and allow them too compete for more contracts and pass on savings on installation of energy saving products.

Reduce burden of packaging waste regulations

The Packaging Waste Regulations should be amended to simplify the return along the lines of the WEE regulations.  The Packaging return takes me hours to complie and the records and checks I need to keep and make are time consuming and laborious. For a single box of product I have to account for the cardboard the box is made of, weigh the strapping around the product, weigh the staples in each box, weigh any stretch film around the pallet the box is on and then weigh the pallet the box came on as well.

We as a business re-use all our cardboard packaging until it can be used no more then it is collected by a recycling company – which we have to pay for. As much other packaging waste is also re-used and then recycled – again at our expense.

We then have to pay an annual registration fee for the membership to the body for submitting the return and then we have to pay a quarterly fee based on our return on how much packaging we have bought in the year regardless of what we are doing within the business to re-use/recycle.

Seems to me that again and again it is business is paying over and over for unecessary stastistics.

As a business we do not buy packaging we do not need – we can't afford to operate in this way. We cannot import goods from overseas or export products overseas without packaging – they would be destroyed.

Why are we constantly having to pay increased uncessessary costs (which we have no choice about) when we are trying to keeps our costs to a minimum to keep the business going and provide employment to the local community.

Please can we stop this unnecessary burden on businesses.

Why is this idea important?

The Packaging Waste Regulations should be amended to simplify the return along the lines of the WEE regulations.  The Packaging return takes me hours to complie and the records and checks I need to keep and make are time consuming and laborious. For a single box of product I have to account for the cardboard the box is made of, weigh the strapping around the product, weigh the staples in each box, weigh any stretch film around the pallet the box is on and then weigh the pallet the box came on as well.

We as a business re-use all our cardboard packaging until it can be used no more then it is collected by a recycling company – which we have to pay for. As much other packaging waste is also re-used and then recycled – again at our expense.

We then have to pay an annual registration fee for the membership to the body for submitting the return and then we have to pay a quarterly fee based on our return on how much packaging we have bought in the year regardless of what we are doing within the business to re-use/recycle.

Seems to me that again and again it is business is paying over and over for unecessary stastistics.

As a business we do not buy packaging we do not need – we can't afford to operate in this way. We cannot import goods from overseas or export products overseas without packaging – they would be destroyed.

Why are we constantly having to pay increased uncessessary costs (which we have no choice about) when we are trying to keeps our costs to a minimum to keep the business going and provide employment to the local community.

Please can we stop this unnecessary burden on businesses.

Remove part 6 from the NERC bill

To remove or ammend part 6 of the Natural Enviroment and Rural Communities bill, so as to allow the vehicular use once again of "off road" trails formally known as "RUPP'S" and "BOATS".

Why is this idea important?

To remove or ammend part 6 of the Natural Enviroment and Rural Communities bill, so as to allow the vehicular use once again of "off road" trails formally known as "RUPP'S" and "BOATS".

The importance of the repeal of the Hunting Act 2004

My idea is that the Hunting Act 2004 must be repealed at the earliest opportunity.  There are many reasons to say this, but I feel particularly strongly about the following:-

  1. It is bad law and as such should not be allowed to continue in a free society
  2. There is no evidence that hunting with dogs is cruel
  3. At the end of the process the previous administration admitted that it had nothing to do with animal welfare but everything to do with class
  4. Hundreds of hours of parliamentary debate were taken over this subject but only tens of hours about the war in Iraq which made it a wicked, scandalous waste of time and money
  5. Minorities must be protected by law not attacked.
  6. The people who follow hunts should not be subjected to the unwanted attentions of so called hunt monitors.
  7. The police should not have their time wasted trying to uphold a law that is neither easy to interpret nor simple to enforce.

 

 

Why is this idea important?

My idea is that the Hunting Act 2004 must be repealed at the earliest opportunity.  There are many reasons to say this, but I feel particularly strongly about the following:-

  1. It is bad law and as such should not be allowed to continue in a free society
  2. There is no evidence that hunting with dogs is cruel
  3. At the end of the process the previous administration admitted that it had nothing to do with animal welfare but everything to do with class
  4. Hundreds of hours of parliamentary debate were taken over this subject but only tens of hours about the war in Iraq which made it a wicked, scandalous waste of time and money
  5. Minorities must be protected by law not attacked.
  6. The people who follow hunts should not be subjected to the unwanted attentions of so called hunt monitors.
  7. The police should not have their time wasted trying to uphold a law that is neither easy to interpret nor simple to enforce.