[diggers350] Travellers seize on Bank Holiday to set up illegal camps

Caroline Barry carostraw at phonecoop.coop
Fri Jun 5 09:46:04 BST 2009

good on them
more power to their elbow
i'm tired of councils opposing action when they have a legal obligation to provide sites
as for the "not in my back yards" tough!!
my recent letter to our local paper


Instead of launching attacks at the travellers in Butleigh, why not have a go at Mendip District Council who are failing in their legal duty to provide sites for travellers and gypsies. The Government have funds specifically for all District Councils to purchase land and provide sites.
The UK welcomes foreigners and provides them with homes, jobs, education and health etc yet it is not supplying facilities for our minority UK residents.
There are land sales every week and yet the District Council have not managed  to find a suitable site.
Come on Mendip sort it out before we get to "people started to take things into their own hands"
Caroline Barry
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: james armstrong 
  To: diggers350 at yahoogroups.com 
  Sent: Sunday, May 31, 2009 12:08 AM
  Subject: [diggers350] Travellers seize on Bank Holiday to set up illegal camps

        Travellers seize on Bank Holiday to set up illegal camps 
        Travellers took advantage of the Bank Holiday weekend to set up camps at two West Country villages in military-style operations while council officials were on the extended break. 
        By Paul Stokes 
        25 May 2009
        The Telegraph
        Residents looked on helplessly as a 50-strong gang brought in mechanical diggers and set about concreting over a meadow, fencing off plots and install portable toilets on a site at Newent in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. 
        The district council failed to obtain an injunction to prevent the work which included creating sewerage systems and providing electricity and water supplies.

        One villager, who did not wish to be named, described seeing earth-moving equipment knocking a hole through a hedge before lorries arrived carrying hardcore.
        "I don't think the British Army could do better," he said. "Nobody wants them here because it's an illegal operation, but our main gripe is with the council because we warned them almost half a year ago."
        According to locals, a syndicate of four travellers clubbed together to pay £65,000 for the land at Southend Lane last autumn, although there is no planning permission for it to be developed.
        Another band of travellers also worked around the clock 40 miles away at the weekend to turn three acres of farmland in Cricklade, Wiltshire, into an illegal camp.
        Kieran Westman, a local resident, said: "They've already hard-cored the whole field and they look like they are here for good.
        "It was like a military operation. The council served a stop notice, but they ignored that and carried on. Now the place is a real eyesore."
        Peter Colmer, vice-chairman of Cricklade town council, voiced his "disappointment" at Wiltshire county council for not being pro-active in dealing with the problem.
        The most recent Government figures show that of 2,539 gypsy and traveller sites in south-west England, 893 do not have planning permission and 317 are facing legal action.
        A spokesman for the Newent-based travellers, giving his name only as Richard, said: "There's 50 men working here because we need somewhere to live. We don't want to cause any trouble and don't want to bother anybody."
        Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Cricklade travellers refused to talk about what was happening there. 


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