Everybody is feeling very bruised after the Hovefields eviction and the two instant police evictions under s61 of the Criminal Justice Act 1994 around Gardiners Lane, which were done in jackboot fashion without the least mercy.
No attempt was made by the Essex police officers, led by Sgt Gordan acting under orders from Chief Insp. Schofield, to ascertain the circumstances of those he intended to evict, first from a car-park and the second time from a derelict garden where a house is awaiting demolition.
Among those forced to move at short notice – thirty minutes at Gardiners Way – were a pregnant mother, a boy with learning difficulties and a number of small children who had already undergone the trauma of seeing their homes bulldozed at Hovefields.
What is to happen next?
Complaints are being prepared by Essex University Human Rights Law Clinic, and individuals have already sent in complaints.
The Homes and Communities Agency, which owns the land from which the families were evicted is meeting Basildon District Council officers on Monday (13 Sept). It will renew the HCA offer to make available these and other sites for use as mobile-home parks to accommodate the hundred homeless Traveler families in the district.
The following day the Dale Farm Housing Association intends to submit an application to BDC for planning permission allowing development of the first of such mobile-home parks on HCA land near Pound Lane, Laindon.
On Thursday this week (16 Sept) we are holding a rally outside Southend County Court – and ask supporters to join Travelers from Dale Farm at this event. The cases to be heard will test whether Basildon has fulfilled its duty under the Housing Act by offering bad-condition flats to Traveler families who have made it clear they cannot tolerate house-dwelling and simply want a place to station the trailer caravans and mobile-homes they own.
Further cases relating to the Hovefields clearances are coming up in the High Court on 22 and 24 September. Again we are calling upon supporters to demonstrate outside the Royal Courts of Justice in the Strand on these dates.
The second hearing concerns an application by Tilly Boswell for a judicial review over the decision of Basildon council to bulldoze her yard at Hovefields – which was prevented by a temporary injunction.
Meanwhile, further 28-day Notices of eviction may be served at any time on the few people still remaining at Hovefields, and on the 80 families at Dale Farm.