Examination of Witnesses (Questions 10680
10680. MR DINGEMANS: Mr Lawrence, you
have been sworn outside. Can you tell their Lordships your name?
(Mr Lawrence) Gregory Alfred Lawrence.
10681. What is your occupation?
(Mr Lawrence) Meat wholesaler.
10682. What is your role in relation to the
Smithfield Market Tenants Association?
(Mr Lawrence) I am the Chairman of Smithfield Market Tenants
10683. I think in paragraph two of your statement
you give a bit of background, may I skip that and three. I think
you also give some details of the Association in paragraph four,
again, may I skip that. Paragraph five I think has been covered
by evidence from the Promoter about the layout, so may I skip.
Paragraph six, can you tell us what happened in relation to the
refurbishment of the market?
(Mr Lawrence) Yes. In the early 90s the refurbishment of
Smithfield Market had to go on because of the new rules and regulations
of the EEC. The Corporation spent a considerable amount of money
on refurbishing the market and each tenant spent a considerable
amount of money refitting their stalls up to the standards.
10684. You mention the refrigeration part and
in paragraph seven you mention the underground car park. How important
are the parking spaces both on the ramp and the underground car
park to the market?
(Mr Lawrence) Absolutely vital.
10685. Do you know whether those parking spaces
are demised to you or are they owned by the Corporation?
(Mr Lawrence) They are all owned by the Corporation.
10686. I think in paragraph eight you break
down the trade. Can you tell the Committee very briefly what is
the difference between boxed meat and carcass meat?
(Mr Lawrence) The boxed meat is, which George Abrahams just
explained, they deal in just boxed and wrapped goods. Carcass
tenants, and I am one of them, deal in carcass meat, hind quarters
and fore quarters of beef, whole pigs, whole lambs and then my
staff cut them up from ten at night onwards.
10687. You mention in paragraph nine the regulations
for the supply of meat, can you give us a bit more detail in relation
to that? How many inspectors work permanently in Smithfield Market?
(Mr Lawrence) You have got seven meat inspectors permanently
on site and one vet permanently on site.
10688. Can I ask you to look at page 108 and
109 of the bundle.
I think this will come up and I hope this is an answer to my Lord
Chairman's question in relation to the regulations and baseline.
Baseline, there is a bit of material here about baselines and
quality technical reports giving details about the development
since 1997 and air quality management areas. He says that the
area around Smithfield Market, this is the baseline assessment
in the ES, makes appropriate reference to the air quality management
areas which are currently in force around the Smithfield area.
Do you yourself know what the limits are or can you tell us how
they work in practice?
(Mr Lawrence) No, I do not know what the limits
are. At this particular time the meat inspectors and the vets,
if they see any dust or rubbish on any cut of meat it is immediately
10689. I think there is some more material which
continues on 108 and 109. We can come back to that. Where does
the carcass meat come from so far as the market is concerned?
(Mr Lawrence) All around the UK.
10690. How does it get into the market itself?
Can it be carried through open air?
(Mr Lawrence) Yes, it arrives by refrigerated containers.
It locks on to the dock shelter, then by robotic arm, with the
help of staff, it is unloaded and then it is placed into each
individual tenant's shop.
10691. I think you produced a copy of your lease,
which we have already looked at. Can I turn on to your paragraph
12 where you set out your concerns about the works. Is that right?
(Mr Lawrence) That is correct.
10692. Can you go through those very quickly?
What about the impact of traffic around the market? Mr Mould has
made a point to the effect that it is hoped that if the escalator
scheme is moved there will be no loss of parking or loading bays
in Lindsey Street, is that going to be right?
(Mr Lawrence) No, I do not think that is right because I
think Mr Mould did mention just on the market side on Lindsey
Street that there are loading bays on both sides of Lindsey Street
and any loss of any loading bays would be a dramatic effect on
Smithfield. The impact of the flow of traffic around the market,
as we know, is one-way. You have only got to get one vehicle holding
up the flow of the traffic for a number of minutes and it is just
a bottleneck all the way around and it is solid and it is a big
10693. So far as the hours of operation of the
market are concerned, Mr Abrahams said what his hours were, can
you tell us what your hours of operation are at your end?
(Mr Lawrence) The business hours?
10694. Yes, when did you go into work last night
and what was happening?
(Mr Lawrence) I arrived at work at 11 pm last night. My staff
started at 9 pm to receive the meat, cutting the meat into individual
prime cuts, then it is wrapped and hopefully we sell it.
10695. When do you finish selling?
(Mr Lawrence) We finish trading approximately at 9 am, but
there are other tenants who finish between 10 am and 11 am.
10696. Paragraph 14 and 15 I think you deal
with Lindsey Street and I think you have commented on that. So
far as car parking is concerned, how many bays are in Lindsey
(Mr Lawrence) I think there are approximately 12.
10697. In paragraph 16 of your witness statement
you mentioned a figure, is that not right?
(Mr Lawrence) Sorry, I may be a little bit tired. It would
be approximately 18, 20, if you can give me a couple of seconds
I will count it in my mind.
10698. Because, in fact, not all the parking
bays are loading bays are they?
(Mr Lawrence) If I could go back to that. It is approximately
18 to 20 loading bays, yes. Could you ask the question again.
10699. Are there any other parking areas in
Lindsey Street as well?
(Mr Lawrence) No, not in Lindsey street.
16 Committee Ref: A59, Baseline, Environmental-Air
Quality, Smithfield Market, Buro Happold 2005 (SCN-20080502-030) Back