Thu 10th March Dale Farm Infonight

Spadella tony at
Fri Mar 4 22:45:28 GMT 2011

Traveller eviction will cost taxpayer millions

TRAVELLER evictions look set to cost taxpayers 
millions of pounds, regardless of whether 
travellers at an illegal pitch in Crays Hill 
relocate peacefully or are forcefully removed.
A meeting arranged by Billericay MP John Baron at 
the House of Commons on Tuesday ended in 
stalemate as both Basildon Council and 
representatives of the traveller site at Dale 
Farm, in Crays Hill, refused to back down.
Leader of Basildon Council, Cllr Tony Ball, said 
after the meeting: “We have made it clear that 
the rule of law must be obeyed and that this site 
will be cleared forcefully if necessary and 
within our timetable. However, we see it as our 
civic duty to go the extra mile to try and avoid 
the misery of a forced eviction whilst upholding the law.”
Essex Police and Basildon Council have already 
applied for £13million to fund a forced eviction 
if needed - but travellers revealed at the 
meeting they are now looking to apply for 
£60million of funds made available this month as 
part of the Government’s ‘Afford-able Homes Programme’ so they can relocate.
Cllr Ball continued: “There is a £60million fund 
which has only become available in the last month 
to help provide sites. The travellers are now 
liaising with Essex County Council and the HCA in 
order to use this fund to locate sites outside 
the District. We will facilitate communication if required.”
As part of the fund £20million will be made 
available over the next two years with another 
£40million available in the following years leading into 2015.
This could mean yet another lengthy delay with 
bidding for the Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant not set to close until May.
Speaking after the meeting MP John Baron said: 
“My view is that we should not deviate from the 
set timetable of action by Spring. I am delighted 
that traveller groups have taken up our offer of 
talks; but it is not our fault that this has been 
left late, although we will still look to uphold 
our civic duty and avoid confrontation and a forced eviction if possible.”
Councillors now look set to debate the next 
course of action at a meeting of full council on Monday, 14 March.
Date published: 02/03/2011 14:38:28

*7:30 on Thursday the 10th at Offmarket, 111 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP.
Dale Farm in Essex is the UK's largest Travellers community, consisting of
nearly a hundred plots and over a thousand residents. Across the UK many
sites have been closed and others evicted and travellers forcibly moved on.
This is only part of the marginalisation and prejudice Travellers face, this
is not just about homes but also the criminalisation of a community and a
way of life . Basildon council wants to spend over £13 million evicting 52
plots of land and 150 families from Dale Farm making hundreds of people
homeless. Let's organise in solidarity with the residents of Dale Farm to
save these homes and prevent the largest eviction in recent UK history. This
info night is for sharing the latest information from Dale Farm as well as
for organising effective solidarity action. Homes for all!
*7:30 on Thursday the 10th at Offmarket, 111 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0NP.

edited from S Q U A T S - E N
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