VIDEO – Royal Show 2009: Minister attacked over RPA mapping fiasco

DEFRA minister Jim Fitzpatrick faced stiff criticism from a farmer who has been left a “nervous wreck” by the Rural Payments Agency‘s attempts at remapping the country.

Speaking at the Royal Show in Warwickshire on Tuesday (7 July), arable farmer Arthur Beevers branded the RPA a “shower of idiots” and told Mr Fitzpatrick the staff responsible for mapping errors should be sacked.

Haranguing Mr Fitzpatrick after he had given a media briefing outside the RPA’s stand at the showground, Mr Beevers said his latest maps had increased his 85-acre (34ha) farm in South Lincolnshire by 5%.

“Over the past few years I had sorted out a number of problems with maps, but now I’ve got my neighbour’s fields,” he told Farmers Weekly.

“People should be held responsible for the stress it’s causing. I’m a nervous wreck.”

Mr Fitzpatrick told Mr Beevers that he was in discussion with the RPA to rectify the errors, which are understood to have affected more than 900 farmers and landowners.

“We know there are problems and challenges with maps and the RPA is working to address them,” he said.

See the full video of Mr Beevers’ exchange with food and farming minister Jim Fitzpatrick:

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