Two of the remaining residents at Dale Farm have been seriously injured. One resident fell down a six-foot trench and became trapped for an hour before going to hospital. Another suffered a broken leg after a path gave way. The injuries come as complaints have continued to mount over the cutting of electricity, streetlights and other amenities to legal plots.
Residents and their supporters will be consulting their solicitors on Monday to assess possible breaches of UK legislation by Basildon Council and will report the incidents to the Health and Safety Executive.
Nora Flynn was walking on the pathway to get some diesel for the generator so she could wash her children’s clothes. The pathway gave way underneath her. Paramedics struggled to rescue her because the roads accessing the site have been dug up. She was admitted to hospital for neck and back injuries and continues to be in serious pain.
Michelle Sheridan, Nora’s sister, said”It’s like something you see on the TV news from a third world country. My children don’t eat and they don’t sleep. The bailiffs have ignored the courts. The council said they wouldn’t dig up the roads and they did. Basildon Council have left us in hell on earth.”
Patrick Egan, whose house has planning permission at the site, fell down a trench breaking his leg while checking the damage to his property which has cracked walls, no electricity and a broken septic tank. Mr Egan’s house has never been the subject of enforcement by the council yet is has still been badly damaged. Mr Egan said: “My work is in disarray. I now can’t work.”
Ali Stephens of the Travellers Support Network, said, “Basildon Council’s £18 million pound plan for the site does not appear to include any health and safety concerns for the remaining residents. Why are excavations not fenced off and lit at night? Why is there not a safe distance between ongoing work on the site and peoples’ homes and access to them? Is Basildon Council biased against travellers, or is it just plain negligence?”
He continued, “Life for the remaining residents of Dale Farm is bleak. Their formerly vibrant community has been turned into apocalyptic scenes of rubble, broken pipes, rubbish and stinking raw sewage. It’s shocking.” Both injured residents are available for interview.