Whitehall suprise - cash stash for traveller evictions

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Sun Apr 17 16:19:20 BST 2011

Surprise Whitehall cash materialises to aid traveller evictions

6:00pm Thursday 14th April 2011
THE Government has agreed to pay £1.2million 
towards evicting about 96 traveller families from the illegal Dale Farm site.
The funding will go towards the total cost of 
clearing the Crays Hill site, which some fear 
could run to £18million, including policing costs.
The Department for Communities and Local 
Government had previously rejected a request for 
more than £3million, so the news has been welcomed by Basildon Council.
There is still no news on whether the Home Office 
will part-fund the possible £10.4million the 
evictions could cost Essex Police.
Tory council leader Tony Ball said: “We were 
expecting no Government funding, so it was a surprise.
“It is not as much as we had hoped for, but it is 
the first sign the Government accepts this is a 
national, and not just a local issue for Basildon.”
However, Mr Ball stressed the money would not 
necessarily be used to reduce the council’s 
£8million share of the budget for the evictions.
He said: “This simply takes our total budget to 
£9.2million for the evictions.”
However, Basildon and Billericay MP John Baron 
thinks the funding should go to Essex Police if 
the force fails to get all the money it needs from the Home Office.
He said: “After months of lobbying by the council 
and myself, this is a small step in the right 
direction, given the department initially refused all funding.
“There is still a big funding gap in the policing 
costs, which we are looking to the Government to 
fill, and these negotiations are ongoing.”
Grattan Puxon, campaigner for the travellers, 
said the Government decision showed it supported 
the eviction against the advice of the United Nations and Council of Europe.
He added: “This is even more public money going 
towards a solution which is not a solution.”
Council officials have already been to Dale Farm 
to record the personal details of camp residents, 
in preparation for evictions.
Mr Puxon said families had been given until the 
end of the month to fill out forms and give them back to the council.
He added: “We still hope to challenge the 
decision at the High Court, on grounds the 
council is not considering personal 
circumstances. There is one man who is now 
bed-bound and cannot live on the roadside, 
another with severe learning disabilities and a number of pregnant women.
“The action proposed is disproportionate.”


aroma, southend says...
10:25pm Thu 14 Apr 11
pregnant women, young children, ill and elderly. 
to be homeless. hardly stressful for vulnerable 
people! This is disgusting. 96 families to be 
made homeless. surely would be cheaper to put a 
'legal site' together. Have Basildon council got 
96 spare houses that can suitably home these 
families? other people get housed. atleast these 
people live cheap, but get accussed of 
scrounging! wont be long now before the 'same 
old, same old' come on here calling them scum. 
well before they do. to think like that it's 
'people that live in glass houses.... and pot kettle black!
remember. there's good and bad in everyone, racism is for the ignorant.”

Pentangelis, says...
11:04pm Thu 14 Apr 11
Has anyone stopped to consider that this 
excercise is going to cost us upwards of a 
moved and that once they are moved, we will have 
to spend this sum again to move them on and again 
and again until a proper solution is found.
Surely now is the time to let common sense and 
reason take over from all the blethering and posturing.
If it is that we must move these people, then 
let's find them a suitable permanent site and get 
it sorted that way. Then at least we will not 
have to effectively buy each family a good house 
and still end up with neither they or us having 
anything tangible to show for it.”

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