The main topic of conversation among my colleagues from other County Councils at last Friday’s meeting of the County Councils Network was predictably the snow and how we had all dealt with the problems. Several colleagues praised the actions of local farmers in bringing their tractors our to plough the snow away, and use their muck-spreading equipment to spread road salt.
However, when we talked a little more, I was told that Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs have stepped in, to warn farmers that if they drive their tractors on roads using red ‘agricultural’ diesel in their fuel tank, they could be prosecuted. I couldn’t believe my ears – the help this community has given to clear roads and get emergency supplies into our rural villages and hamlets should be celebrated, not punished. But true enough, I found the story on the Daily Mail website – click the link to read it here.
But the icing on the cake? Although HMRC will take action for using red diesel for spreading salt, apparently they won’t take action if those same farmers use red diesel to snowplough the same roads!
Surely this can’t be true? If you know the facts, let me know.