Twice-jailed traveller to lead eviction talks

First published in News by

BASILDON Council has agreed to lengthy negotiations with travellers before evicting them – minutes of a secret meeting seen by the Echo have revealed.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commission says an agreement has been made for traveller spokesman Richard Sheridan – who has twice been jailed for cigarette smuggling – to lead a group to negotiate with council officials.

Unhappy residents fear this will further drag out the already lengthy eviction process.

Meanwhile, the council has still not gone out to tender for bailiffs.

David McPherson-Davis, a Ramsden Crays parish councillor, said: “This could take it to next year.

“The House of Lords said they should go, so why all this pussy-footing?

“The commission’s case was thrown out in court. Why are they given so much weight?”

The commission-chaired meeting at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church, Wickford, in April agreed the council must first consider health problems of travellers, children’s education, travellers’ culture and housing needs. No timescale was set, but the council also agreed to promote relations between travellers and the settled community in the meantime.

The minutes added: “The meeting was very positive because both sides talked to and listened to each other in a respectful way.

“Further talking and listening will take place, building on positive progress.”

Mr Ball claimed the commitment would not stop evictions if needed.

He said: “We will go to as many meetings as the commission asks.

“The tender will soon go out.

“Agreeing to talks does not mean we will not use enforcement action if necessary.

“But it is in everyone’s interest to negotiate people leaving by choice to avoid the misery of eviction and the cost to the council.”

Council representatives involved in talks were council leader Tony Ball, chief executive Bala Mahendran, Chris Norrington, head of democratic services, Rab Fallon, housing strategy manager, Ndunge Kivuitu, equality and diversity manager and former council leader Malcolm Buckley.

Separate meetings open to all from Dale Farm, Crays Hill, and Hovefields, Wickford, and possibly settled residents, will also be held to report on the progress of Sheridan’s group.

The commission was reluctant to make the private notes public, but released them to the Echo after it said it would apply under freedom of information.

Comments (8)

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1:13pm Tue 16 Jun 09

vangebasildon says...

Private secret meetings! Why cannot these be public, we know the travellers have alot to hide but what have the council got to hide. Why oh why does the council pander to the travellers requests. Come Basildon Council lets see some positive action, please don't hide behind that you are trying to do the best with public funds, your a bit late for that one aren't you
Private secret meetings! Why cannot these be public, we know the travellers have alot to hide but what have the council got to hide. Why oh why does the council pander to the travellers requests. Come Basildon Council lets see some positive action, please don't hide behind that you are trying to do the best with public funds, your a bit late for that one aren't you vangebasildon
  • Score: 0

2:44pm Tue 16 Jun 09

midnight warrior says...

This is appalling, why has Basildon Council not yet tendered and issued the eviction notices? The High Court has given the go ahead so just get a move on Mr Ball please.Why are you stalling, is there a hidden motive perhaps?
This is appalling, why has Basildon Council not yet tendered and issued the eviction notices? The High Court has given the go ahead so just get a move on Mr Ball please.Why are you stalling, is there a hidden motive perhaps? midnight warrior
  • Score: 0

4:52pm Tue 16 Jun 09

evilc says...

What is the point of talking to someone that has twice ignored the law and that is only what we know about.

By pass this scumbag and kick em ALL out.

Thanks 'New Labour' for the Human Rights Act.
What is the point of talking to someone that has twice ignored the law and that is only what we know about. By pass this scumbag and kick em ALL out. Thanks 'New Labour' for the Human Rights Act. evilc
  • Score: 0

6:18pm Tue 16 Jun 09

Fupo says...

"We will go to as many meetings as the Commission asks"!! What is going on here. Basildon Council has been told by the Communities Secretary to uphold planning law. In April The Law Lords have said that the travellers must go, yet here we are, two months later and the tender for baliffs hasn't even gone out! Basildon has been given an unequivocal green light to go ahead and clear Dale Farm and yet still seem to be kowtowing to the travellers. Are we still going to be going through the same scenario, with travellers pulling the council's strings this time next year. No doubt they will still be asking for meetings come next December. For goodness sake, just get on and uphold the law and stop pandeing to the travellers. It almost seems as though the travellers have some sort of hold over the Council.
"We will go to as many meetings as the Commission asks"!! What is going on here. Basildon Council has been told by the Communities Secretary to uphold planning law. In April The Law Lords have said that the travellers must go, yet here we are, two months later and the tender for baliffs hasn't even gone out! Basildon has been given an unequivocal green light to go ahead and clear Dale Farm and yet still seem to be kowtowing to the travellers. Are we still going to be going through the same scenario, with travellers pulling the council's strings this time next year. No doubt they will still be asking for meetings come next December. For goodness sake, just get on and uphold the law and stop pandeing to the travellers. It almost seems as though the travellers have some sort of hold over the Council. Fupo
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Tue 16 Jun 09

Biker One says...

quote "the council must first consider health problems of travellers, children’s education, travellers’ culture and housing needs."

Eh? Why should the council consider the rights of freeloading Irish nationals who have been banned through legislation from doing exactly this in their own country?

Health problems?

That's playing the human right sympathy card.

Childrens education?

That's a larf if ever I heard one!

Travellers culture?

This is not Ireland and we don't recognize lawlessness in the way they do. It's nothing to do with culture, it's all about how to rob the decent tax payers!!!

Housing Needs ???????

Do me a favour, just pi55 off back to Ireland, and take your mobile rubbish with you, or in other words, travel!!
quote "the council must first consider health problems of travellers, children’s education, travellers’ culture and housing needs." Eh? Why should the council consider the rights of freeloading Irish nationals who have been banned through legislation from doing exactly this in their own country? Health problems? That's playing the human right sympathy card. Childrens education? That's a larf if ever I heard one! Travellers culture? This is not Ireland and we don't recognize lawlessness in the way they do. It's nothing to do with culture, it's all about how to rob the decent tax payers!!! Housing Needs ??????? Do me a favour, just pi55 off back to Ireland, and take your mobile rubbish with you, or in other words, travel!! Biker One
  • Score: 0

9:58pm Tue 16 Jun 09

bumper says...

secret meeting the only meeting they should be getting now is the strong arm of the law getting the on there way .
secret meeting the only meeting they should be getting now is the strong arm of the law getting the on there way . bumper
  • Score: 0

7:16am Wed 17 Jun 09

LocalBoy says...

evilc wrote:
What is the point of talking to someone that has twice ignored the law and that is only what we know about.

By pass this scumbag and kick em ALL out.

Thanks 'New Labour' for the Human Rights Act.
It really is about time you got back in your box evilc re "New Labour" and the Human Rights Act.

Boring or what?

Thankfully there is a Human Rights Act, that protects the rights of Humans. I do realise I live in an area where a large chunk of the population are more interested in protecting the rights of their dogs to foul beaches but I actually think my fellow man deserves a bit of protection as well.

The thing that makes me laugh the most is that those who post are often using "The Human Rights Act" as a tool in a pathetic attempt to legitimise their arguments. They clearly have no idea of what the act is about.

They just use Human Rights as if they are some force of evil (perhaps they are a force of evilc?) that prevent the rest of us enjoying our lives. They are not; they are needed.

If you don't like Labour that's fine but to abuse/misuse Human Rights to justify your dislike of Labour is plain pathetic.
[quote][p][bold]evilc[/bold] wrote: What is the point of talking to someone that has twice ignored the law and that is only what we know about. By pass this scumbag and kick em ALL out. Thanks 'New Labour' for the Human Rights Act.[/p][/quote]It really is about time you got back in your box evilc re "New Labour" and the Human Rights Act. Boring or what? Thankfully there is a Human Rights Act, that protects the rights of Humans. I do realise I live in an area where a large chunk of the population are more interested in protecting the rights of their dogs to foul beaches but I actually think my fellow man deserves a bit of protection as well. The thing that makes me laugh the most is that those who post are often using "The Human Rights Act" as a tool in a pathetic attempt to legitimise their arguments. They clearly have no idea of what the act is about. They just use Human Rights as if they are some force of evil (perhaps they are a force of evilc?) that prevent the rest of us enjoying our lives. They are not; they are needed. If you don't like Labour that's fine but to abuse/misuse Human Rights to justify your dislike of Labour is plain pathetic. LocalBoy
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Wed 17 Jun 09

thelonewhinger says...

I just cannot understand why the people of Basildon district continue to stand by and watch this farce continue.

Is it simply down to "Nimbyness" with those living away from the problem not giving a toss? Is it down to Basildon's sense of fair play and commitment to multi-culture and multi-ethnicity? My guess - it is apathy plain and simple.

The only way to force action against these devious criminals is through direct action. Not violence, but mass demonstrations attracting media attention to show we have had enough!

This morning's news showed Romanians in Northern Ireland "driven from their homes by racial violence". The reporter on scene failed to answer a direct question as to whether they were "Roma" people (and clearly they were Romanian Gypsies). Is this the next wave? better get some more pitches planned....

I also saw a program recently where immigration officers intercepted a Polish lorry carrying furniture destined for the UK - Romanian illegals were found hiding among the sofas - ring any bells?

No doubt the lady who wrote from her smug London address to the Echo this week will condemn me as yet another bigot and racist - perhaps there's a little of this in all of us who dare to put us and ours top of the list......
I just cannot understand why the people of Basildon district continue to stand by and watch this farce continue. Is it simply down to "Nimbyness" with those living away from the problem not giving a toss? Is it down to Basildon's sense of fair play and commitment to multi-culture and multi-ethnicity? My guess - it is apathy plain and simple. The only way to force action against these devious criminals is through direct action. Not violence, but mass demonstrations attracting media attention to show we have had enough! This morning's news showed Romanians in Northern Ireland "driven from their homes by racial violence". The reporter on scene failed to answer a direct question as to whether they were "Roma" people (and clearly they were Romanian Gypsies). Is this the next wave? better get some more pitches planned.... I also saw a program recently where immigration officers intercepted a Polish lorry carrying furniture destined for the UK - Romanian illegals were found hiding among the sofas - ring any bells? No doubt the lady who wrote from her smug London address to the Echo this week will condemn me as yet another bigot and racist - perhaps there's a little of this in all of us who dare to put us and ours top of the list...... thelonewhinger
  • Score: 0

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