The questions that never got answers

15 May 1998

The questions that never got answers

YORKSHIRE lowland suckler cow producers have called on prime minister, Tony Blair, to help them find answers to written questions put to farm minister, Jack Cunningham, five months ago.

Last December Trevor Ward and 11 other Yorks suckler producers contacted their local MP with questions for the farm minister.

Local MP, John Healey, drafted a set of questions and sent them to Dr Cunningham during the second week of December. But by mid-February, despite repeated calls for answers, the group had heard nothing.

"Only after further calls from our MP did we get an acknowledgement and a reply to some of our questions from (junior farm minister) Jeff Rooker on March 27," says Mr Ward.

"We felt this was unsatisfactory and decided to write to Mr Blair instead. We have had an immediate response to our letter from staff at Downing Street who have pledged to ensure that our questions reach Dr Cunningham," he says.

"After our experiences I would recommend contacting Downing Street with questions for the farm minister from the word go," he adds.

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