10
Oct
14

Rural Payments Agency ‘to consider action’ against Stody Estate

Five days ago we blogged about the millions of pounds of farming subsidies that have been given to Stody Estate over the last few years (see here). For new readers, Stody Estate was in the news last week because their (now former) gamekeeper, Allen Lambert, was found guilty of poisoning 11 raptors (10 buzzards and 1 sparrowhawk) on the estate, as well as other related poison offences (see here and here).

While we wait to find out Lambert’s sentence (due 6th November), we encouraged blog readers to contact the Rural Payments Agency (RPA) to ask whether any action would be taken against Stody Estate as the conviction implied they were in breach of the terms and conditions of their subsidy-fest.

Well done to all those who took the time to contact the RPA – we know from our site stats that at least 40 of you did.

To the RPA’s credit, they have responded very quickly. We’ve seen a number of the responses – some of which have already been shared as comments on this blog, and others which were shared with us privately via email.

From the RPA responses that we’ve seen, it looks as though the RPA is going to take a closer look at Stody Estate. The most common response has been as follows:

I can confirm that RPA will consider what action can be taken under the cross compliance rules in respect of the offences for which the gamekeeper was convicted“.

However, there was one RPA response that didn’t sound quite as promising:

RPA can confirm there is no investigation ongoing“.

Hmm.

As some commentators have already suggested, it’s worth keeping hold of the reference number given at the end of each of the RPA responses so that we can follow up in a few months time to see what action, if any, the RPA has taken.

Lambert 9 bz

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14 Responses to “Rural Payments Agency ‘to consider action’ against Stody Estate”


  1. October 10, 2014 at 2:14 pm

    In reply to our query on this, Quaker Concern for Animals received the first message you mention, at 10.43 today.

  2. 2 Arnie Fisher
    October 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Very interesting comments from the well-informed Rob on Mark Avery’s blog regarding the removal of the clause relating to Article 5 of the Birds Directive:
    http://markavery.info/2014/10/10/14935/

  3. 3 Jayne Chapman
    October 11, 2014 at 8:45 am

    The RPA are quick enough to fine the likes of conservation bodies on cross compliance issues, which don’t even begin to compare with the atrocities carried out here.

  4. October 11, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    The persecution will never stop until the Authorities send to prison those engaged in these sick crimes.

  5. 5 Pete Hoffmann
    October 13, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    RPA prefer going for soft targets like the little guy..who has no retained legal brief… Worried about their legal bills. It may be required to take the RPA to court to fullfill their statutory legal obligation.

    • 6 Merlin
      October 13, 2014 at 11:07 pm

      Quite agree, the RPA get told were their payments have to go they have no choice in the matter., it doesn’t go to the dairy farmer who has to sell his milk for less than it costs him to produce it, it doesn’t go to the pig or chicken farmers going under because they cant afford the rising costs of feed. It goes to those who need it least, benefit cheats don’t always live on run down council estates

  6. October 14, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Hi All, I’ve just received this reply from RPA:

    Thank you for your recent e-mail concerning the Norfolk gamekeeper found guilty of killing protected species of birds.

    I can confirm that RPA will consider what action can be taken under the cross compliance rules in respect of the offences for which the gamekeeper was convicted.

    I have forwarded your e-mail on to the Access to Information mailbox for you.

    Thank you again for bringing this case to our attention.

    Should you have any further queries please contact us again quoting reference number 545856

    Regards

    Jackie Pritt

    ————————————————————————–

    So, maybe, they will look into the matter. We await with bated breath!!!!!

  7. October 14, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    The email to me, above was redirected the Access to Information department. I have received this reply:

    Ref: The Stody Estate, Norfolk.

    Thank you for your email 10 October 2014.

    This is not an Access to Information request. If you would like to report any Cross Compliance please contact the customer service centre on 0845 603 7777, or email the customer service centre customer.service.centre@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

    You can also access further information via our website http://www.rpa.defra.gov.uk

    Kind Regards,

    ————————————————–

    Do they know what they are doing? Or do they want me to chase my tail like demented dog?

    I shall try the customer service centre again with this email attached.

  8. October 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    My answer to the replies received.

    Email to RPA.

    This message was first sent to your offices on the 10 October 2014.

    I am alarmed by the crimes against nature committed on the Stody Estate. These crimes have been brought to light following the conviction of the gamekeeper employed there.

    The Stody Estate receives substantial subsidies from the state and EU. In Scotland vicarious liability would take measures to recover and stop funding as a penalty for the crimes committed on the estate.

    Will the Rural Payments Agency be taking any measures against the Stody Estate for their non-compliance to rural duties?

    Douglas Malpus

    I also received this reply from your offices:

    Thank you for your recent e-mail concerning the Norfolk gamekeeper found guilty of killing protected species of birds.

    I can confirm that RPA will consider what action can be taken under the cross compliance rules in respect of the offences for which the gamekeeper was convicted.

    I have forwarded your e-mail on to the Access to Information mailbox for you.

    Thank you again for bringing this case to our attention.

    Should you have any further queries please contact us again quoting reference number 545856

    Regards

    Jackie Pritt

    Quickly followed by this reply:

    Dear Mr Malpus

    Ref: The Stody Estate, Norfolk.

    Thank you for your email 10 October 2014.

    This is not an Access to Information request. If you would like to report any Cross Compliance please contact the customer service centre on 0845 603 7777, or email the customer service centre customer.service.centre@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

    You can also access further information via our website http://www.rpa.defra.gov.uk

    I am not impressed by this! Is it some form of smoke screen for the protection of the criminals I am enquiring about?

    Doug Malpus

  9. 10 ian rubery
    October 14, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    The following replies were in response to my query dated 10/10/2014 14:21

    To: ianrubery@mypostoffice.co.uk 14/10/2014 12:11

    Dear Ian

    Thank you for your recent e-mail concerning the Norfolk gamekeeper found guilty of killing protected species of birds.

    I can confirm that RPA will consider what action can be taken under the cross compliance rules in respect of the offences for which the gamekeeper was convicted.

    Should you have any further queries please contact us again quoting reference number 545867.

    Regards

    Kathryn Holmes

    Customer Service Centre | Operations |
    Rural Payments Agency | PO Box 300 | Sheffield | S95 1AA | Tel. No. 0345 603 7777 | Email: csc@rpa.gsi.gov.uk | Website: http://www.rpa.defra.gov.uk
    Follow us on Twitter @Ruralpay

    14 October 2014 14:04

    Dear Mr Rubery

    RE: Stody Estate gamekeeper breaking the rules of Cross Compliance

    Thank you for your email 13 October 2014.

    This is not an Access to Information request. If you would like to report any Cross Compliance please contact the customer service centre on 0845 603 7777, or email the customer service centre customer.service.centre@rpa.gsi.gov.uk

    You can also access further information via our website http://www.rpa.defra.gov.uk

    Kind Regards,

    Access To Information Unit |atihelpdesk@rpa.gsi.gov.uk | Tel: 01189 687656
    Rural Payments Agency | PO Box 69|Reading | RG1 3YD
    Follow us on Twitter @Ruralpay

    ************************************************************************************
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    are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify
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    This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept by
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    The original of this email was scanned for viruses by the Government Secure Intranet virus scanning service supplied by Vodafone in partnership with Symantec. (CCTM Certificate Number 2009/09/0052.) This email has been certified virus free.
    Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or recorded for legal purposes.

  10. October 16, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Another reply from RPA, trying to sort out the mess they made of earlier responses:

    Dear Mr Malpus

    Thank you for your recent e-mails regarding the Stody Estate.

    Firstly can I please apologise for the conflicting emails you received from the RPA?

    Upon receipt of your first email (which had failed when you tried to send it to ATI Helpdesk yourself) we should have mentioned in our reply that we had passed your concerns to our Cross Compliance Referrals Team. We also passed your email to the ATI Helpdesk because this was what you had tried to do yourself and had your initial email come through to them you would still have received the same reply from them. This is because they deal with specific questions about a business rather than reporting concerns about a business.

    Please be reassured that our Cross Compliance Referrals Team takes all reports very seriously and their investigations are ongoing.

    I have logged your complaint with our Complaints Team and have been given the reference number CAS-05852-P1M7X3. Please quote this reference in any future correspondence. Our Complaints Team will contact you shortly to discuss your concerns further.

    If you have any further queries; please contact us on our Helpline 0345 603 7777.

    Regards

    Kristianne Flitton

    ……………………………………………………………………….

    The Complaints Team, may be trying to sort out my comment from email dated 14/10/2014, “I am not impressed by this! Is it some form of smoke screen for the protection of the criminals I am enquiring about?”

    Bated breath is still “bated”!

    Apologies for using the term “bated” when so many of the problems discussed within these pages involves bated…..

    It may appear that I am trying to take over this page but that is not the case. Disclosing the responses from RPA is to open them for general information.

  11. October 17, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Sorry folks I’m here again.

    Curiouser and curiouser!

    The content of the latest email from RPA:

    Dear Mr Malpus

    Thank you for your recent e-mails regarding the Stody Estate.

    Firstly can I please apologise for the conflicting emails you received from the RPA.

    Can I also apologise that you had also been informed that a member of the complaints team would be contacting you shortly to discuss this matter. This is not the case as this has been forwarded to the Cross Compliance Referrals Team.
    Upon receipt of your first email (which had failed when you tried to send it to ATI Helpdesk yourself) we should have mentioned in our reply that we had passed your concerns to our Cross Compliance Referrals Team. We also passed your email to the ATI Helpdesk because this was what you had tried to do yourself and had your initial email come through to them you would still have received the same reply from them. This is because they deal with specific questions about a business rather than reporting concerns about a business.

    Please be reassured that our Cross Compliance Referrals Team takes all reports very seriously and their investigations are ongoing.

    I have logged your complaint with our Complaints Team and have been given the reference number CAS-05847-S8Z8S9. Please quote this reference in any future correspondence.
    If you have any further queries; please contact us on our Helpline 0345 603 7777.

    Regards

    Sharif Mustafa

    ………………………………………..

    I’m getting confused by this string of excuses. Are they on the same medication as the shooty wooty types????

  12. October 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    The saga continues:
    The latest email from RPA and my reply.

    On 20 Oct 2014, at 15:45, CSC CustomerService2 wrote:

    Dear Mr Malpus

    Further to our email on the 17/10/2014 please see the information below.

    Cross compliance rules only apply to recipients of Single Payment Scheme or certain Rural Development scheme payment in the year in which a cross compliance breach is found.

    The person prosecuted for the offences mentioned in your e-mail is not a recipient of either of these types of payment. Therefore before RPA can take further action, it will be necessary to determine whether there a link between this person and a subsidy recipient and, if there is, whether that recipient can be considered liable for the actions of the person who committed the breaches.

    Should you have any further queries please contact us again quoting reference number 546022.

    Regards

    Lyndsay Moore

    My reply to email:

    To most of those concerned with the protection of birds and wishing to bring the guilty parties of crimes against birds of prey, to justice. The guilty gamekeeper was in full time employment at the time of the crimes therefore the Stody Estate is also responsible for his actions. To me and many others, this appears to be cross compliance.

    Douglas Malpus

    …………………………………………………………………………..

    As a very young child, “ring a ring of roses…..” was a game I played. I’m too old to be playing it now.


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