Police Get Funding To Evict Essex Travellers
7 June 2011, 12:46
Police have told Heart they've now secured all the funding they need to help evict travellers from an unauthorised site.
Up until now it wasn't clear where the £9.5million would come from, but it's emerged the Essex Police Authority, Home Office and Basildon Council will cover costs.
Back in March councillors in Basildon voted to spend £8million evicting travellers from the unauthorised site near Wickford.
They've been waiting for Essex police to get all their funding before serving a notice.
Dale Farm is the largest traveller site in Europe and home to more than 1,000 people.
If an eviction notice is issued, travellers living on the 51 unauthorised pitches on the site will have 28 days to leave peacefully or else face a forced eviction.
At a Council meeting in March Basildon Council Leader, Tony Ball said: "They did this knowing they were breaking the law and that the Council would take action. We have tried to work with the families concerned to find a peaceful resolution but, after 10 years of continues and illegal development of the green belt, we must draw a line under the matter and take action. However, even at this late stage I am still open to constructive conversations with the travellers at Dale farm."
Richard Sheridan, the president of the gypsy council, told Heart: "When they move these people on it's gonna cost the taxpayers in this country, over a 10-year period, something like £200 million.
"It's not just an eviction, it's families and families and families, and wasting of hundreds of millions of pounds and then some. Dale Farm's always gonna be there."
Opponents say the eviction risks making elderly people and children homeless.