HL Deb 19 December 1989 vol 514 c116

2.45 p.m.

Baroness Sharples asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether a decision will now be made to launch a full-scale attack against the Blandford Fly.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Employment (Lord Strathclyde)

My Lords, the scientific sub-committee met on 6th December and will report to the Advisory Committee on Pesticides on 25th January 1990. Ministers will then decide whether to approve full-scale treatment of the River Stour.

Baroness Sharples

My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that Answer. Does he agree that councils urgently need to know so as to set up their budgets if, as I hope, they receive a satisfactory reply in January? Is he aware that the product, BTI, used to get rid of Simulium posticatum, does not affect flora and fauna?

Lord Strathclyde

My Lords, I note my noble friend's concern over this matter which is important to the people of north Dorset. With regard to whether the pesticide would affect flora and fauna, we had the test in the first place to see whether it would be acceptable.

Baroness Turner of Camden

My Lords, is any information available as to a possible link between the pest and pollution of our rivers? If so, what steps can be taken to deal with the pollution, especially in view of the privatisation programme?

Lord Strathclyde

My Lords, the Government are obviously extremely concerned about pollution. One of the reasons water has been privatised is so that we can better deal with such problems. There is no evidence to suggest that the Blandford Fly has been caused by excess pollution.