Minister Creed must acknowledge there are serious issues within his department - Martin Kenny TD
Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on Agriculture Food and Marine, Martin Kenny TD, has called on the Minister for Agriculture to own up to the fact that there are serious issues within his department in processing GLAS applications, and to stop putting the blame on farmers and Agricultural planners.
Speaking from his constituency office Deputy Kenny said:
“I and others have been raising the issue of problems in the department of Agriculture for a long time now and the Minister continues to put the blame on farmers and planners.
“I have spoken to a number of farmers and planners who have told me of their experiences with the department and the frustration in trying to get GLAS applications processed.
“One of the main problems seems to be the digitisation of maps, when they are re-digitised for the purpose of a specific action in GLAS like coppicing a hedge for example, the area of the new digitised parcel of land doesn’t match up to his BPS application.
"There may only be tiny difference but it results in delays in processing the application and the planner having to submit amendments to the BPS application.
“These are all problems outside of the farmer and planners control yet the farmer ends up being out of pocket.
“Another issue is when a GLAS application are submitted certain parcels of land are designated for certain actions like low impact pasture.
"These parcels will be clearly marked on the application with a reference number yet planners are receiving letters from the department claiming errors in relation to amount of area in the parcel for that action.
"It turns out that the error is on the department’s side as they have incorrectly input the application and are quoting the wrong reference number.
“Nobody is trying to scapegoat the department but Minister Creed must acknowledge there are serious issues within his department and stop putting the blame onto farmers and planners.”