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The Governement should sycamore rider-friendly policy !

Bob Milton and the Surrey Wildlife Trust

Bob Milton says Rural Payment Agency confirms SWT has committed fraud

The Rural Payments Agency wrote to Bob Milton

"What matters are the rights and responsibilities that a farmer has, and how they operate in practice. To claim under the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) applicants must have the land claimed at their disposal. If a farmer only has access to graze or mow land under the terms of a grazing licence, he will not meet this condition and will not be eligible to claim SPS.

If however his agreement gives him other rights and responsibilities over the land, he may in fact have a tenancy which would make him eligible to claim. If anyone is any doubt about their eligibility to claim under the Single Payment Scheme they should seek independent professional advice, and also talk to the land owner.

Further information will be provided in the Single Payment Scheme Handbook for England Supplement for 2012, which will be published shortly on the RPA website –"

Says Bob Milton

The Rural Payments Agency wrote to Bob MiltonSo that is now clear.

SWT Ltd has been committing fraud for all its SPS claims where it is only the licensed grazier and it is also likely that its claims for the Surrey County council commons which is also as a management contractor not a tenancy or lease would likewise be fraud.

This definition also brings into question the use of HLS as the land in question is ‘not in control’ of the grazier.

Bob Milton writes to the Rural Payments Agency

Perhaps you would now like to investigate the millions of pounds of CAP monies the RPA is paying to Wildlife Trusts and other graziers on Defence Estates military training land

Writes Bob Milton

Thank you for this confirmation. Perhaps you would now like to investigate the millions of pounds of CAP monies the RPA is paying to Wildlife Trusts and other graziers on Defence Estates military training land and the possible unlawful registration of those lands in the Rural Land Registry.

The same applies to such payments to the likes of Surrey Wildlife Trust Ltd on the same and other land held for public recreation [s193 Law of Property Act 1925] by Surrey County Council and contract managed by SWT Ltd.

Other examples of payments on s193 common land without rights of common such as Hartlebury common Worcestershire where the land is vested under s9 Commons Registration Act or where the land is held under the Open Spaces Act 1906 and/or managed under a Commons Act 1899 Scheme of Regulation should also be reviewed.

The definition of what is a qualifying farm tenancy is one that has been at the root of a number of SPS claims such as Telscombe Tye where the RPA was paying on a claim where the landowner unlawfully let the common under a FBT to the exclusion of the commoners without their agreement and refused to acknowledge the lawfulness of the commoners legitimate claim.

I am aware of common land funding issues and payments without what seems lawful authority across the south of England.

The issue of lawful qualification and payments on common land, manorial waste and land held for other purposes was bought to the Ministers notice some six years ago but seems to have been ignored. To this is to be added the circumvention of the statutory duty of government both local and national and their agencies under the Habitat Directive and the payment of CAP monies for that statutory duty

I pine for a more sensible approach to saving our forests

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