Thursday, 24 June 2010

So, Let Me Get This Straight...

...when travellers move onto private (or public) land, breaking the planning regulations with impunity, the council response is, well, let's say lacking, to be charitable.

'Nothing we can do', they say, 'it's too late, we're shut, we can't muster the lawyers on a Bank Holiday'.

In fact, they positively encourage them!

Yet when a council taxpayer decides to sell his own land to travellers to 'get back' at the council, the speed at which they move is positively supersonic:
...the Conservative-run local authority last night took out a temporary High Court injunction, which means Mr Finnigan faces a fine or even prison if he fulfils his threat.

Council leader Matt Colledge said: 'I will not allow residents of Trafford, and in particular the neighbouring community, to be held to ransom in this way.'
The moral of this being that it's only when the travellers do it that the council is prepared to turn a blind eye.

Now, personally, I feel his actions aren't likely to hurt the council one bit, but rather his neighbours. But it's his land. How can they prevent him selling it?

And why can they not do the same when others plan to sell to the travellers?

11 comments:

Woman on a Raft said...

I hope he publishes the injunction. It would be interesting to see who issued it and exactly what has been prohibited.

If the injunction stands (unlikely, depending on if it really does prevent a sale to certain ethnic groups, even obliquely) then it sets an interesting precedent.

John R said...

The usual "one rule for us, no rules for them" approach.

If the new "localism" is worth spit then we must get to a position pdq where we have elected numpties in these jobs so they realise who is the servant and who is the master

Anonymous said...

i think the reason for "one rule for them one for us" is because they are not subject to any statutes of law,no acts.
i dont think that they were registered at birth therefore they are not "owned" by the govt and only common law applies to them!
the council dont do anything about it because they cant,trying to sell "title' to your land now your in the govts jurisdiction.
Every time you register,submit or apply for something you are giving away your ownership to it! and as far as i know travellers dont do any of them!

Furor Teutonicus said...

The moral of this being that it's only when the travellers do it that the council is prepared to turn a blind eye.

MOMENT!

There is a BIG difference here. As you say, "it was on a bank holiday weekend it happened".

The gypoes do NOT advertise all over the nieghbourhood, months in advance, of their intentions.

So the council here are not "at fault". They WOULD be however if they HAD done nothing, given the advanced warning.

Your argument is not valid, and not applicable to this case.

JuliaM said...

"If the injunction stands (unlikely, depending on if it really does prevent a sale to certain ethnic groups, even obliquely) then it sets an interesting precedent."

Indeed. Nothing would be more delicious than seeing him challenge it under Race Discrimination laws.. ;)

"If the new "localism" is worth spit..."

I suspect it isn't.

"So the council here are not "at fault". They WOULD be however if they HAD done nothing, given the advanced warning."

You have a very generous nature, to assume the council would act in the case of the travellers if they were forewarned.

I have no such nature.. ;)

Furor Teutonicus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Furor Teutonicus said...

"So the council here are not "at fault". They WOULD be however if they HAD done nothing, given the advanced warning."

You have a very generous nature, to assume the council would act in the case of the travellers if they were forewarned.

I have no such nature.. ;)

Me neither. But they DO have that defence, and legaly seen, they are bang within rights.

The only way we COULD take them to task, is to see what happens if Gypoes gave advanced warning.

As a side point, the name of the guy that wishes to sell them the
land; Dermot Finnegan.

Hmmm. Not perchance a bloody lying, thieving Irish tink himself?

The Jannie said...

Tell the tinks to move to Barnsley. There, the council plan to extend their existing "traveller" site. This is to avoid having to move some who have lived there for twenty five years,ffs. The meaning of "traveller" must have escaped them . . .

blueknight said...

A High Court Injunction can be issued to prevent a future planning breach, but it has to be almost certain that the breach would occur
It does not come cheap, in the thousands but the cost has to be balanced against the cost of enforcement and any subsequent 'direct action' (dragging the caravans off the site), which can run into millions.
Furor Teutonicus correctly makes the point that in most cases, the council is caught on the hop when the site is developed quickly over a weekend.
Breach of planning is not a criminal offence, so some sort of Notice is usually the only way to stop it.
Even if a council officer with clip board and Biro was on call over the weekend, the Notice would still have to be agreed by the Planning Committee and then drawn up by the Council Solicitor in a correctly worded form that will pass the scrutiny of the Planning Inspector, the Magistrates Court, the Crown Court and beyond.
I would be interested to see how they word the injunction without making reference to 'travellers'.

JuliaM said...

"The meaning of "traveller" must have escaped them . . ."

indeed. It seems that the 'travelling' they mostly do is what we consider a normal holiday.

"It does not come cheap, in the thousands but the cost has to be balanced against the cost of enforcement and any subsequent 'direct action' (dragging the caravans off the site), which can run into millions."

The sums mentioned for the camps in the south that have been through the courts all the way to Europe and back (and STILL haven't yet been evicted) are utterly eye-watering.

"I would be interested to see how they word the injunction without making reference to 'travellers'."

As WoaR pointed out, to do so would be to immediately be in breach of one or two of Labour's anti-disctimination laws, so it is indeed a puzzle...

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