Wednesday, 19 October 2011


Maybe I’m stupid but I am at a loss to see how Basildon Council can justify spending an amount purported to be £18 million on evicting travellers from the Dale Farm site. The site itself was a scrap metal yard prior to the travellers purchasing it and they have now been in occupation for 10 years without planning permission on a site which is part of the Green Belt.  The site where the evictions are taking place is right next to another site where the caravans/mobile h0mes etc. have planning permission and to complicate things even further there are legitimate mobile homes on the eviction site which do have planning permission.

Quoted in the Echo the Bishop of Chelmsford The Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell  is reported as saying:  “we should pray for a peaceful clearance of Dale Farm”, but warned the eviction solves no problems.The Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell said: "As we witness the sad and difficult eviction of the travelling community from Dale Farm, let us pray that it happens peacefully and that no one is hurt or injured. But let us also remember that this eviction does not solve the problem but moves it somewhere else. These families are going to have to sleep somewhere tonight.What is needed is a national solution to provide travelling communities with stable, permanent and, if they wish, settled sites so that their culture and community can be maintained and flourish within the law."

At one time it was the responsibility of local authorities to provide suitable sites for travellers but this was rescinded some years ago. I really think Basildon Council could find a better way of spending £18 million pounds just to move a problem out of their area into somebody else's.


  1. Isn't there a contradiction if 'travellers' have been settled for up to ten years? Their arguments don't add up. They have complained about disrupting schooling and health care difficulties for the sick but isn't that the benefit of settling? They appear to want it both ways. According to previous reports the 'travellers' had been offered alternative accommodation but it was reported on the lunchtime BBC News that bricks and mortar are unacceptable to them. There is no shortage of caravan sites around the country if that is the way they want to live.
    These people are not refugees; they simply want to benefit from society on their own terms and have cost us £18million in the process while the rest of us have to obey the law. No wonder Ireland doesn't want them and I doubt that the Bishop of Chelmsford would want them in his backyard either. If people want to benefit from society they have an obligation play their part not take the rest of us for a ride.

  2. It has been widely reported that many of these tinkers (because "travellers" they certainly ain't!) own either houses or substantial pieces of land suitable for building development in the Irish Republic. But of course the welfare benefits system there is not so generous is it?