Select Committee on Standards and Privileges Sixth Report

Annex L

Letter to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

from Mr Roy Beggs MP


My wife and family moved into our home farm on 14/7/66 the date on which purchase was completed.

I inherited my father's farm at Ballyclare in 1987 although I had been using the land for many years prior to 1987. Ballyrickard farm was purchased in 1984, ie. 25 Acres Home, Ballyclare 22½, Ballyrickard 13¼ total 60 ACRES APPROX.

On 30-1-86 payment was made to J Hoybin & Sons for cleaning existing open drains and sinking new drains etc. at Ballyrickard farm.

Mr McKee was landfilling the site for at least seven years before landfill tax was introduced in 1996 and arrangements were made between Mr McKee and Customs and Excise to photograph site and pay tax.

I have no recollection of being contacted re. Landfill Tax. I understand from Mr McKee that he has regular site visits and office visits from Customs and Excise and that all taxes due are paid up to date.

I have instructed Larne Borough Council to transfer the Waste Disposal Licence to D J McKee and Sons—copy enclosed and copy of map showing area to be landfilled also enclosed copy of final payment for purchase of home farm at 9, Carnduff, Larne, and receipt for valuation of my father's estate from which I inherited Ballyclare farm.

I enclose Library records from the House of Commons which indicate that I have asked questions on Landfill and Landfill Tax issues.

In approximately twelve years about _ of the 10¼ acre site has been covered by landfilled material. At this rate landfilling may not be completed for my benefit in my lifetime. No material of significance is being brought to the site by Mr McKee since Landfill Tax was introduced. His competitor contractors are filling up large sites on which they do not charge Landfill Tax.

As the Licence holder I accept that I am liable for Landfill Tax and expect that future responsibility will be with Mr McKee to whom the licence should be transferred this month.


Draft File Note, paragraph 2

I have spoken with Mr Topping. The purchase price was £120,000. I paid £20,000 toward the purchase price and Mr Topping paid £100,000. Our understanding with the user company was that it could be bought back at any time and that is still the position.

The successor company/companies are Lintrend Textiles Ltd and Lintrend Lamont Ltd, 3 Inver Road, Larne and specialised in the manufacture of Arab Headgear Semagh and Guttragh. It is my understanding that they have recently diversified into other products.

I have had no involvement since contributing to the initial purchase. Neither Mr Topping nor myself received any rent or interest on the purchase price of £120,000 since 1989.

Mr Topping has maintained contact with the users and invested substantially in the belief that he was helping to get the company off to a good new start. He is currently responsible for the overdraft of £283,065-09 and this does not include any of the purchase price. In addition other sums have been paid into the account by Mr Topping to reduce the overdraft.

The recorded losses are believed to exceed the present value of the site.

Mr Topping No. 4 account is exclusively related to the Inver-property. His accountant is Mr E McClelland of Price Waterhouse Cooper, Penny Lane, Larne. His purpose in seeking interest payment on his personal finding was to prevent loss of the property to the tenant occupiers who have occupied the property free of rent for approximately 12 years.

I have no written agreement with Mr Topping on the ownership of the site or any profit share agreement. I have no written agreement with the business nor has Mr Topping other than an understanding that when the users could buy back the property that option remains.

For details of the ownership of the business at Lintrend Textiles, 3 Inver Road, Larne, contact Dr Sloan.

The property was not entered in the members interest Register because I did not consider that my £20,000 part of the £120,000 was substantial and because I received no income of any kind.

No payment or benefit has been received because the business has been unable to pay anything and has been supported by Mr Topping personally.

I do not believe that I have been involved in any Parliamentary proceeding which relates to issues which might be relevant to the property at Inver Road, Larne during the period.

If I have acted incorrectly then I will be guided as to how I can put things right and accept the consequences.

I have no other interests which should have been registered.

1 March 2001

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