HC Deb 28 October 1994 vol 248 cc893-4W
Mr. French

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when Ministers will make regulations for the residuary milk marketing board for England and Wales

Mr. Waldegrave

Regulations have today been laid before Parliament. They will come into force on 1 November, vesting day for the new milk marketing arrangements.

The regulations set out the functions, powers and constitution of the residuary England and Wales milk marketing board. The residuary MMB will be responsible for winding up the milk marketing board's affairs, having regard to the interests of registered producers. Its functions will include the management of its retained assets pending disposal and the discharge of its retained liabilities. The residuary MMB will be responsible for collecting payments from buyers for milk sold in October, for paying producers for their October milk and for finalising the accounts of the MMB for the period leading up to vesting day. Among its functions will be to determine future ownership arrangements for Dairy Crest and National Milk Records.

Any surplus assets remaining after the residuary MMB has discharged all its liabilities will be distributed to eligible producers. The regulations set out in detail producers' entitlements to a share of any such surplus. These match the provisions of the milk marketing board's approved reorganisation scheme.

The members of the residuary MMB will be appointed by Ministers. The board may consist of up to seven members, including the chairman. Up to three members may be producers. Appointments will be for a period of up to two years and will be renewable. Members' remuneration will initially be set by Ministers. The residuary MMB will ask producers to approve members' remuneration at each annual general meeting from 1996 onwards.

We outlined the arrangements relating to the residuary MMB which the milk marketing board proposed as part of its reorganisation scheme in our consultation document on the scheme issued in March. We also set out the effects of modifications made to these in a document issued when the scheme was approved in June. Copies of these documents were placed in the Library of the House. The regulations were drawn up after consultation with interested parties in August.

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