Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10660
10660. CHAIRMAN: Mr Abrahams, I know
you want to get off. Are you the right person to ask about dust?
(Mr Abrahams) Yes, I think you can ask me about dust being
10661. The level of contamination by dust is
presumably set out in regulations as a result of some EU law,
is that right?
(Mr Abrahams) I do not know the exact parameters of the level
10662. I think that is the usual route. I see
Mr Dingemans is nodding.
(Mr Abrahams) EU legislation denotes that you should take
10663. What actually happens? Is this enforced
by the City of London Environmental Health officers?
(Mr Abrahams) It is sub-contracted to meat hygiene services,
which comes under the auspices of Defra.
10664. What do they do?
(Mr Abrahams) They inspect Smithfield.
10665. I know they do, but how do they do it?
(Mr Abrahams) They physically enter our premises and then
inspect from the floor up to the ceiling and everything in between.
10666. Is there a level? Presumably it is particulate
contamination, is it?
(Mr Abrahams) In relation to dust?
(Mr Abrahams) What we are talking about is an event of an
explosion of airborne particles above the norm.
10668. Is there a level?
(Mr Abrahams) If there is, I do not know what that level
10669. There is always dust in the air and presumably
somebody has set a level above which it shall not go if the meat
is going to be exposed to it.
(Mr Abrahams) If you are asking what that level is, my Lord,
I do not know.
10670. That is way I wondered whether you were
the right person to ask. I think it would be quite useful to know.
Mr Dingemans is nodding again and I think he can tell us by one
means or another.
10671. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: The
inspections take place on a daily basis?
(Mr Abrahams) Yes, they do, my Lord.
10672. How many times a day?
(Mr Abrahams) They would be ever present on Smithfield and
you could be visited two or three times a day. There are random
inspections across the various sites?
10673. LORD JONES OF CHELTENHAM: Mr Abrahams,
in long ago days Smithfield was used as a place of public executions
because the conditions were so bad that they could not be made
any worse by burnings at the stake. How far do the traders contaminate
the area already and how can you separate that contamination from
what will occur with Crossrail?
(Mr Abrahams) Good question, I would like to have a timeout
to think about that!
10674. LORD YOUNG OF NORWOOD GREEN: Are there
still burnings at the stake?
(Mr Abrahams) I am sure there are one or two meat hygiene
officers that they would like to burn at the stake!
Re-examined by MR
10675. MR DINGEMANS: Just one, if that
is all right. Page 85 of our bundle with the witness statement.
You were asked about the right that you have to park. If one looks
at (c) is this what is promised to you by the Corporation of London,
which is: "The right in common with all others having like
right on all days from Monday to Friday and on Saturdays and Sundays
at such times as are specified by the Committee to pass over and
along the roads, pavements and passages within the Wholesale Market
for the sole purpose of loading and unloading goods at the service
entrance to the roadways", that is what is promised under
your lease, is that right?
(Mr Abrahams) I believe that is right, yes.
10676. I will come on to the significance of
that later but thank you. Might Mr Abrahams be released?
10677. CHAIRMAN: Mr Abrahams, thank you
very much. You certainly do not need to stay and you can go back
to your work.
The witness withdrew
After a short break
10678. CHAIRMAN: Welcome back. Mr Dingemans,
can you call your next witness, please.
10679. MR DINGEMANS: Yes, Mr Greg Lawrence,
please. He is at page one of your bundle.
LAWRENCE, Sworn Examined by