Thursday, 16 June 2011

Incompetence, Or Deliberate Sabotage?

Police say they are powerless to move the travellers on after it emerged an order preventing use of the land expired six months ago.
Gerard Oxford, ward member for High Woods on Colchester Council, said he could not understand how the order had been allowed to run out.

He said: “I’ve had irate residents calling and saying they thought the land was protected.

“The travellers are au fait with how the system works.

“I don’t know how the order was allowed to expire. Our experiences with the illegal occupation that have taken part in the past years have been bad.”
Well, I can bet one thing, and one thing only – whoever was responsible for renewing the order won’t lose their job over it.

Council bosses are investigating if they can legally evict many travellers from the illegal Dale Farm site.

Just days after funding was approved for the £17.5million clearance traveller campaigners have unearthed evidence they alledge (sic) questions the validity of enforcement notices served on up to 48 of the caravan pitches.
Delaying tactic? Or council legal advice screw-up?
Council solicitor Lorraine Browne said: “We have received correspondence regarding the validity of notices and are looking into it in detail and will respond accordingly."
Let’s hope it’s not the latter, then.

Not that Ms Browne would be out on her ear if that turned out to be the case, I suspect…


Brian said...

Police aren't powerless as they can use the powers available to them in the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 as amended. Sections 61, 62A and (77,78 for Councils) are handy. But the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Human Tights Act 1998 tie their hands to a an unfair extent.
As for the Council in Essex, a working knowledge of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)Order 1995, the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960, and the RRA and HRA ought to within the abilities of a council solicitor. As the travellers own the land, the case would appear to revolve around unathorised development. use.

blueknight said...

Planning enforcement is a long winded and expensive way of solving this sort of problem, but as no one else is doing anything about it, we can't be too critical if the Council find they haven't used the right tools.
When will this sort of thing be made a straight up criminal offence?

JuliaM said...

I think they would only solve part of the problem - you'd still bump up against the RRA and HRA...

Anonymous said...

is the classic remedy here that reaches the parts that cops, protest and common sense don't.

Anonymous said...

Around here (Beds/Bucks) they move onto a place just before a bank holiday.
Since the legal department stops work before the holiday, and doesn't return 'til after it (Holiday on Friday/Monday means most of them will be off-work for nearly two weeks).
Not that it matters anyway since you cannot [now] inform them directly. You now have to inform an "administrator" who will then inform the social work people (the kids have to be checked)....before getting around to starting the legal process. meanwhile, two weeks has passed, the place occupied has become a rubbish dump and cesspit, and many of the "travellers" will have moved anyway because of the filth and rats.