QUESTIONS FOR BASILDON COUNCIL MEETING 9 December 2010

For Cllr Tony Ball

From Malcolm Tully

In your Report you say that the Council would prefer a peaceful resolution of the Dale Farm dispute and that every effort is being made to find alternate sites. Please can you inform me, and members of the Council, whether you are willing to discuss with representatives of the Dale Farm Housing Association their proposal put to you in writing by Cllr Candy Sheridan for the provision of a mobile-home park on land at Pounds Lane, Laindon, offered to the Council for this purpose by the Homes and Communities Agency?

To Cllr Tony Ball

From Ann Kobayashi

Cllr Ball,

I have already sent you a detailed letter concerning my opposition to the Dale Farm eviction, which I believe is shared by Labour councillors. I was appalled by the wanton and unnecessary distruction of property that took place at Hovefields Avenue, despite written promises by the Council to store mobile-homes and move kitchen units for later collection by the owners.

The question I would like to put to you concerns my very good friend Mrs Mary Ann McCarthy, who has a beautiful chalet home at 10 Camilla Drive, on the Dale Farm estate. Her chalet is one of the many homes that have been survey and photophraphed for the Inventory drawn up by Essex University Human Rights Clinic (a copy of which is being provided you) for the purpose of claims for damages against the Council, should this become necessary.

Can you give us a clear undertaking as promised in a letter from Dawn French that the Council in the event of going ahead with the eviction will oversee the professional dismantling of Mrs McCarthy’s chalet (as with that of all other chalets and similar movable structures so required by their owners), and safe removal to storage for a period of months until reclaimed?

Mary Ann McCarthy

I wish to ask Tony Ball the same question as above (from Ann Kobayashi) in my own name.

Zelda Jeffers

Basildon

My question concerns the many sick and elderly persons facing eviction at Dale Farm.

We have already witnessed recently the unfortunate death of pensioner Mr John Flynn, who was in poor health and suffering fear and stress from the coming destruction of his home at Beauty Drive, Dale Farm. His family feel strongly that his final heart attack was brought by this stress and that he would not have survived eviction onto the road.

Numbers of people are in a similar situation and only for reasons of privacy I will not name them. There are cases of terminal cancer, there are severe diabetics, and many more.

In your Report you mention almost in passing the meetings between Basildon Council and Essex County Council, both of which have duties towards those made homeless, the sick and the elderly.

Are you aware of their welfare needs, as made known to housing officers, and if so what are your plans for their future care?

Mary Sheridan

I am the daughter of the late John Flynn and I want to ask Mr Ball the same question as Mrs Koyashi (above) if I am able to attend the Council meeting. My mother Mary Flynn has obtained legal aid to apply for a hearing by the Court of Appeal concerning your refusal to enable her to move her caravan to a safe and legal plot, as she cannot live in a house because she needs her family, including myself, around her as her carers.

Richard Sheridan

I wish to ask Mr Ball the following question. It is true that I suggested in a meeting earlier this year that instead of the Council spending anything up to £20 million on getting riding of Travellers by a policy which we experience as ethnic-cleansing, we could be re-settled for as little as £2 million – but are you aware that as president of the Gypsy Council I am willing to meet with you at any time to discuss just how this could be achieved within the framework of council duties and planning law, including the existing duty on the Council to make 62 new pitches available by 2011?

Melvyn Dearlove

Benfleet

I will be attending the Council meeting on Thursday evening and would like to put the above question to Cllr Ball in the event that Richard Sheridan is unable to attend.

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