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Anorak | Dale Farm: The Scaffolding As A Battlefield Monument And Rumblings From Flintshire

Dale Farm: The Scaffolding As A Battlefield Monument And Rumblings From Flintshire

by | 28th, September 2011

DALE Farm: Is the scaffolding outside the gates of Dale Farm near Basildon, in Essex, worth saving?

Campaigners tell English Heritage it’s “emblem of a struggle for traveller rights“.

Nothing to do, then, with just being bolshy and hacking off the locals, gloating perhaps in a hard-won victory?

Dale Farm was due to be cleared by bailiffs. But it’s been held up by appeals at the High Court.

Resident Kathleen McCarthy tells media:

“We’re here to fight for our rights to a normal family life, for our children to get an education and for us to have security for our homes. The tower is all that stands between ourselves and the bailiffs. As long as it remains standing, we know that there are people outside our community who still care about our rights.”

The tower is not that stands between them and the bailiffs; the courts and the rule of law are. This smacks of grandstanding.

English Heritage aims to “celebrate England’s historic buildings, monuments, parks, gardens, battlefields and wreck sites, by highlighting their special interest in a national context”.

So. What is the scaffolding. A monument? A battlefield? A wreck? An eyesore?

In other news, two demonstrators supporting the travellers have been arrested after climbing on top of a revolving door at the Basildon council’s offices and demanding that council leader Tony Ball resign.

Ali Saunders, a spokeswoman for Dale Farm Solidarity, says:

“It’s becoming clear that this eviction is a lost cause – Dale Farm has got to stay, Tony Ball has got to go.”

Always good when the voices of the just and fair-minded demand instant justice and retribution.

Mary Sheridan, a Dale Farm resident, adds:

“Instead of wasting money on destroying a community, Tony Ball should be putting money into Basildon and supporting local people. This shouldn’t be about travellers, but about what’s good for Basildon. We are living in fear of the bailiffs. If Tony Ball had his way we’d be forcefully thrown out of our community with no place to go. Tony Ball is failing travellers and the people of Basildon. We don’t want to be taking homes off others who need them and we don’t want to live at the side of the road.”

Tony Ball and Basildon council have not lost. This Is Essex reports:

However, far from being an indication that the eviction will not take place, the extension to the injunction, first handed to travellers on Monday last week, is to resolve what structures bailiffs can remove from the site.

It has emerged that the enforcement notices handed to travellers by the authority did not mention the removal of walls, fences and gates from the six-acre site in Crays Hill. Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, who is ruling on the case at the High Court, said: “It is unclear why the council did not include unlawful walls, fences and gates in the enforcement notices.”

Another issue was the definition of chalets and caravans at the site.

It was unclear if the enforcement notices applied to both chalets and caravans, which differ in definition. The enforcement notices require the removal of caravans from the site, but some travellers claim their homes are “twin-unit” caravans and do not therefore fall within the meaning of the enforcement notices.

Meanwhile, Dale Farm is a cause celebre. In Flintshire:

A CONTROVERSIAL gipsy camp will be discussed by county planners next month. Hundreds of people have already voiced their opposition to plans for a five-caravan site on land off Magazine Lane, Ewloe Green. Anxious residents and traders set up the Ewloe Green Action Group and they say the green-belt land is popular with walkers and dog owners. It is also feared any development will increase traffic leading to the site.

A spokesman for the group said: “The proposed site lies directly in the path of land earmarked by the Welsh Government for road widening if the proposals to upgrade the A55 from Ewloe to Northop proceed. In light of what is happening in Dale Farm (near Basildon) it makes no sense to us to allow this development, if in a couple of years time 30 residents have to be evicted and rehoused at huge public expense”…

The spokesman added they group had concerns about drainage and sewage issues.A barn on the site was subject to an arson attack last August after stables on the land were deliberately torched.

So. Is it war, then?



Posted: 28th, September 2011 | In: Reviews Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink