Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Sixth Report

Annex F

E-mail to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

from Mr David Gordon

I understand you are currently looking into a complaint regarding East Antrim MP Roy Beggs and his non-declaration of a waste disposal sitelicensed in his name at Ballyrickard Road, Larne.

As a journalist who has reported in detail on this matter, I would be grateful for the opportunity to make some brief comments for your consideration.

As you may be aware, Mr Beggs has now told the media that he has no pecuniary interest in the site and is "confident" of being cleared by you.

However, to my mind, there are still matters which need to be addressed, including:

1. The public's right to know. As East Antrim MP, Mr Beggs was very vocal on a waste disposal controversy within his constituency, between 1995 and 1997.

As an MP, he is also in position to help shape legislation on waste site management, regulation and licensing.

Despite this, he has never declared his own involvement with the waste industry, however large or small that may be.

2. Pecuniary interest. If Mr Beggs has no financial involvement in the landfill, who takes responsibility for landfill tax payments in respect of the site?

There is also the more general question as to why the site is licensed in his name, if he has no financial stake in it? Is it just a hobby, or a generous donation to the businessman who operates it?

3. Land ownership. The question of who owns the Ballyrickard Road site has not yet been satisfactorily clarified.

As you know, MPs are required to declare "land or property of substantial value". This site is clearly of value, given the extent of the waste infilling operation that has occurred within it.

Please feel free to contact me, if you require a hard copy of this e-mail, or any further information. Our newspaper reports on the matter can also be forwarded, if required.

16 February 2001

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