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Bost Agri-business Park and Airfield

Volume 576: debated on Wednesday 5 March 2014

The Bost airfield and agricultural business park project was designed and approved in 2009 at a time when Ministers did not approve any spend under £40 million. In 2012 it became clear that the business park would not be completed within the original time frame or effectively, so to avoid wasting taxpayers’ money, I decided that further UK funding would be cancelled.

This is my 35th question on this subject since February 2013. I am pleased that the Secretary of State has given me a little bit of information today, but it is not unreasonable for the House to know who was responsible, how much taxpayers’ money was wasted in total, what when wrong, and whether anyone will be held accountable. Would the Secretary of State care to say what she and her officials are so desperate to cover up?

I can say that the hon. Gentleman’s Government were responsible because they designed the project. Indeed, Ministers failed to sign it off because they did not sign off projects of less than £40 million. The only money we are spending on it now is in answering his 30-odd parliamentary questions, which have so far cost the taxpayer £5,000.