Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, welcomed the government?s decision to drop plans to bury at the North Herts Landfill site in his constituency animals slaughtered because of the Foot and Mouth epidemic.
“Following my opposition, supported by fellow Conservative Hertfordshire MPs and the County Council, the government has dropped its plan to use this site. What a relief. But what a shambles this demonstrates. Peter Lilley said: “The government now admit that the site is unsuitable because of possible contamination of the water table ? precisely the point I raised with them. They announced the decision without consulting any local authority or even telling the manager of the site.
“When I queried what was happening the Department of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture gave five different answers within a few hours:
? The Environment Minister told me the site was to be used;
? The Eastern Area Environment Office said the North Herts Landfill site had been dropped from the list a week ago ? in the very early stages;
? The Environment Head Office then said there was a query against the site;
? MAFF then said it had been dropped upon closer examination on ?technical grounds?;
? Finally, the Department of Environment could give no assurance that it might not be reinstated.
“Small wonder that this government has still not mastered this dreadful crisis after six weeks! The only way to cut through this bureaucratic shambles is to give one body ? preferably the army ? clear control ? as the inquiry into the 1967 outbreak recommended.?