Wednesday, March 02, 2011

John Baron MP hosts Traveller meeting

MP and Councillor Tony Ball confirm Basildon Council’s position

Today in Parliament John Baron MP hosted a meeting which involved the travellers at the illegal Dale Farm site, local Councillors and residents. The purpose was to follow up on the meeting in January and agree action points going forward.

The travellers, following consultation at Dale Farm stated that they would not leave peacefully unless they had somewhere to go. The Council confirmed its position that it will clear the site. However, a £60 million fund has been made available in the last month from central Government which the travellers are now pursuing with the aim of finding sites outside the Borough.

John and Councillor Tony Ball said:

“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.”

“There is a £60 million 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.”

Further to this, a Planning Application has been received for a Traveller site on the HCA land at
Gardiners Lane South. However, that application is defective in that much necessary work has simply not been done. No such application can be considered until it reaches the high standard that we require for all major applications in Basildon Borough.

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