Select Committee on the Crossrail Bill Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10660 - 10679)

  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 an asthmatic!

  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 of dust.

  10662. I think that is the usual route. I see Mr Dingemans is nodding.
  (Mr Abrahams) EU legislation denotes that you should take precautions

  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?

  10667. Yes.
  (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 is.

  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 DINGEMANS

  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.


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