From Candy Sheridan, of the Gypsy Council
Well it has been a roller coaster ride for everyone, most of all the residents. We obtained an emergency injunction on Monday 19th, 17 days ago. This was an amazing victory because it literally stopped yet another ‘unlawful eviction against Travellers’. It was identified by the court that Basildon Council was going to clear Dale Farm unlawfully and re instate it for a green field, grass seeded site. Although it was not one before.
Councils over enforce against my community on a regular basis, but not from now on. We have also been awarded costs, as the Judge stated that our apprehension was justified — another far reaching victory. Councils in this country need to treat my community with some basic respect and dignity and from now on tell each Traveller what they require them to do in each and every enforcement notice.This was all we asked of Basildon, but we literally had to go to court to gain it. The court agreed with us that they were flaws and the council have ‘conceded many points with us.’ The flaws in their decision making at Basildon were the responsibility of the officers.
We are still awaiting the final judgement as to whether Basildon Council can proceed. The battle of ‘up holding planning Law, restoring the Greenbelt and finally creating the openness back at Dale Farm, have all been LOST. Dale Farm will remain and the human misery needs to end.
We accept and always have done that there is a breach of planning control at Dale Farm. We have worked on sourcing and applying for alternative sites and have always wished to avoid this costly and ill informed court battle. We are now informed that this final judgement will not be tomorrow but next Wednesday 12th at 2pm, some 23 days after Basildon wished to begin their ‘over enforcement’ at Dale Farm.
They are few winners and more losers in all this political posturing. The residents have experienced much earlier deaths and extreme stress, the sheer waste of public money is obscene and has literally been frittered away at a time of great financial crisis in this country. Basildon have been the most watched council in this country and other nations have been appalled by this ‘localism’ funded by national money.
But as we await there is still time to talk and we have kept that door open throughout and look forward to that call from Tony Balls. Let’s all show courage and wisdom and sit down away from all the media and discuss what Dale Farm could look like. Lets work together to end this national issue and solve it first and foremost in Basildon.