Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Written Evidence

Memorandum submitted by Newark and Sherwood District Council (O69)

  1.  The sugar industry plays a major role in the economic prosperity of Newark and Sherwood. It is estimated that the sugar industry supports some 3,000 jobs throughout the local economy. Not only does British Sugar directly employ up to 130 people at its Newark plant it also generates a large number of ancillary jobs in the transport and service sectors. It is estimated that up to 600 people are involved in the transport of both the raw material and the processed product. On top of this British Sugar pays around £41 million to more than 900 growers who supply sugar beet to the Newark factory. Clearly, therefore, any major changes to the current sugar regime would have a serious impact on the economy of both Newark and Sherwood District and a much wider rural area in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.

  2.  Members of the District Council were so concerned by the potential impact of this review that a meeting was called, here at Kelham Hall on 9 January 2004, which was attended by our two local MPs, Paddy Tipping and Patrick Mercer, and three MEPs, Roger Helmer, Philip Whitehead and Bill Newton Dunn. This meeting which was extremely well attended gave elected Members and representatives of both the sugar beet and transport industries the opportunity to voice their concerns to their Parliamentary representatives. The outcome of that meeting was a strong recommendation to Defra from this Authority that any change to the current regime should be carefully managed within a stable market.

  3.  I would stress that this Authority does recognise that the Review is required to enable a sustainable European Sugar industry. It does not envisage a status quo but we would strongly urge that any reform of the sugar regime should be managed in a way which ensures the stability of the European sugar market. To this end Newark and Sherwood District Council firmly supports the option most likely to provide this stability and that is a carefully managed transition of the present regime after 2006.

1 April 2004

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2004
Prepared 12 July 2004