Thursday 16th September at 11:00 am
Southend County Court
Southend on Sea
Essex SS1 2AW
Traveller Test Case at Southend County Court
In poor health and anxious to stay with their extended family, grandparents Mary and John Flynn, among the many elder residents of Dale Farm, have refused a offer to accommodate them in a council flat.
Although facing eviction and the bulldozing of their home at Dale Farm, the Flynn’s have opted to challenge Basildon District Council’s housing policy. Lacking a permit to live on their own land, they are already legally homeless.
In this situation, they applied together to Basildon for re-accommodation. But both made it clear from the start they could not accept bricks-and-mortar housing, to which as Travellers they feel a strong aversion.
“We can’t live in a house,” says John Flynn. “It’s hard to explain but it’s something we’re not used and have no been brought up for.”
They hope Basildon will be required by the court to provide land to which they can move with their trailer caravan. Until a site is ready the Flynn’s wish to remain where they are on the now insecure Dale Farm estate.
Yesterday (Monday) the Homes and Counties Agency again met with BDC officials to discuss the offer the government body has made to lease land to the council. The HCA owns holdings in the district which could easily accommodate the mobile-homes of the 100 Traveller families facing eviction by Basildon.
“Instead of spending £3m on evictions the council would be better advised to go for the HCA offer,” commented Richard Sheridan, president of the Gypsy Council.
In an effort to avoid further brutal evictions, the Dale Farm Housing Association has itself this week submitted a planning application to develop a caravan park on HCA-owned land at Pound Lane, Lainden, Basildon.
A rally is to be held in support of John and Mary Flynn outside Southend County Court at 11 am on Thursday (16 Sept).
If you can’t be there, send an Email of Solidarity/Support c/o: firstname.lastname@example.org