Tag Archives: council

Council house sale stopped by squatting

Avonmouth Squatting Victory

On 20th April 2016 a group of campaigners squatted a council house in Avonmouth to stop it being sold.

Six dramatic weeks later the squatters left, having successfully stopped the sale.
http://www.squatbristol.co.uk/2016/06/avonmouth-squatting-victory.html

In March 2016 the then Mayor of Bristol, George Ferguson, announced 15 empty council residential properties were to be sold at auction.  Ferguson said the money raised would be invested in current council stock and 75 council homes then under construction.

The sale of council houses while homelessness in Bristol is at crisis point was controversial.  With a mayoral election on 5 May 2016 and all the other candidates opposing the sale there was also a question of democratic accountability.

On 20th April – the day of the auction – 44 Richmond Terrace in Avonmouth was squatted to try and prevent it being sold.

It was auctioned anyway and the buyer was not told the Council did not have vacant possession.

The Council now had 28 days to gain possession of the house and complete the sale.  They asked the police to evict the squatters.  The police refused as the occupiers were not living in the building and were therefore not breaking any laws.

The Council then did nothing, unable to make any decisions until after the mayoral election on 5th May.  This was won by the Labour candidate, Marvin Rees, who had pledged to review council house sales.

After the election the Council again asked the police to evict the squatters.  The police again refused.

The Council then issued a claim for possession in the County Court, with the hearing on 25th May.  At the hearing the Council was awarded full possession entitling them to evict the occupiers.  Unusually the court order specified the eviction had to happen before midnight on 1st June.

The Council attempted to evict at 5.30am on Tuesday, 31st May.  However they had completely underestimated the occupiers who had heavily barricaded the building and built a roof platform.  It would take a substantial team of qualified and properly equipped climbing bailiffs to evict the squatters.  The Council attended with about four contractors, a County Court bailiff and a council officer.

After causing minor damage to the front door and waking the whole neighbourhood up with pointless banging the Council gave up on the eviction attempt.

Meanwhile the squatters were in contact with the buyer who now wanted to withdraw from the sale.  She’d found out the property required about £30,000 of repairs that the Council do not appear to have fully disclosed.   Her solicitor had served a notice to complete the sale on the Council, expiring on 7th June (or thereabouts).  After that the sale has failed and the Council has to return her deposit and pay compensation.

On 1st June the Council’s court order timed out.  They met with the buyer and agreed to release her from the contract.  The sale had now failed.

With the house no longer being sold and a new Mayor opposed to further council house sales the occupiers handed possession back to the Council on Monday, 6th June.

UK Anti-Gypsy Racism Reaches Danger Level


>UK Anti-Gypsy Racism Reaches Danger Level

The same rabid anti-Gypsy racism which gave rise to the Nazi genocide is now being deliberately whipped up ahead of the British general election, speakers at this year’s Roma Nation Day rally will warn the UK Government.

Romani Rose, of the Central Council of German Sinti, who lost 17 members of his family during the Holocaust, will be among those addressing the Commemoration of Roma Victims taking place (12 noon) at St James’s Church, 197 Piccadilly, London, on Saturday, 9 April.

Paying their respects to the 500,000 Roma who died at the hands of the Nazis will be members of the foreign diplomatic corps and representatives of the Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh and Jewish communities.

After the signing of a Book of Condolence, candles will be lit to those who died both in the Holocaust and as a result of present-day racism.

Among those to be remembered is Johnny Delaney, the l5-year-old Traveller beaten to death two years ago in Cheshire.

The church ceremony will be followed (approx 1.30pm from outside St James’s Church) by a march across central London against the ethnic-cleansing of 30,000 Gypsies from their own land and in protest over threatened evictions at Dale Farm, Essex; Smithy Fen, Cambridegshire, and elsewhere.

Supported by members of the Gypsy Council, TERF, the NTAG, UKAGW, ITM and other groups, the rally will be headed by the Romani Rad ensemble and a decorated horse-drawn vehicle.

Marchers intend to deliver a demand to Savile Row police station that the SUN newspaper be investigated for incitement to racial hatred over its recent article headed “Stamp on the Camps”.

Similar complaints against other newspapers, among them the Evening Standard, the Mail and Daily Express will also be lodged.

GYPSY FOR PARLIAMENT

At a public meeting following the march, Richard Sheridan is to announce his participation in the general election as a candidate for Billericay. He will be standing against the present Tory MP John Baron, well-known for his anti-Gypsy stance on the issue of the future of unauthorised caravan parks.

 

“As the first Traveller to stand for Parliament,” says Mr Sheridan, “I intend to make our voice heard not only at Crays Hill but around the whole country.”

His adoption by Dale Farm residents follows an intense voter registration scheme which ended on 11 March. Meanwhile, a plan for the creation of a housing association has been submitted to Basildon District Council as an alternative to the threatened l3 May eviction.

The proposed Dale Farm Housing Association, drawing on Housing Corporation and local authority funding, would aim to build several family-sized mobile-home parks for people presently occupying unauthorised plots at Crays Hill.

“The first step is to obtain status as a registered social landlord,” explained Patrick Egan, chair of the Traveller Community Project, which is meeting shortly to form the association.

At the same time, up to 15 fresh planning applications have been prepared for submission to Basildon council ahead of the May deadline. Also in the pipeline are eight human rights cases arising out of evictions by Hertsmere District Council and Chelmsford Borough Council. It is hoped that these cases will help deter Basildon council from resorting to similar methods – the employment of Constant & Co security men, riot police and bulldozers – to raze the homes of the many hundreds of residents at Dale Farm.

Facing Bulldozers In UK Ethnic-Cleansing

The Dale Farm “Freedom March” is a response to eviction proceedings brought by Chelmsford Borough Council.

Nora Egan, a young mother facing eviction from Dale Farm, has called the”Freedom March” against the planned destruction of the UK’s largest Traveller settlement at Cray’s Hill, Essex. Sylvia Dunn, the first Romany general-election candidate in British history, now giving her all in a bid to unseat anti-Gypsy Tory leader Michael Howard in Folkestone, plans to head the march along with Roma activists including those who have seen their homes destroyed.

The march will take place at 12 noon on Saturday, 14 May at Gloucester Park, Basildon the day after some 80 families are supposed to vacate their 50 crowded yards.

Travellers hope this last appeal will persuade council leader Tory Malcolm Buckley to call off what would be an inevitably violent attack on the settlement. Such an eviction was originally contemplated for l3 May, when temporary planning permission expires.

“Filmstars have promised to be here if they try to evict us,” said Mrs Sheridan. “But we hope no such protest will be necessary.”

 The local Basildon ECHO has quoted yard owners as saying “It will take the army to move us.” Earlier, a planning inspector warned of a civil riot should bulldozers be deployed to demolish homes.

Recently actor Corin Redgrave visited Dale Farm and later pledged that he and sister Vanessa Redgrave would return with thousands to create a human shield around Dale Farm. He promised, however, that it would be a totally peaceful and lawful event.

 Meanwhile, Mr Buckley has commissioned notorious private bailiff firm, Constant & Co., to draw up eviction plans. The council have set aside £1.5 million to cover the expected cost. In similar operations at nearby Chelmsford and at Ridge, Hertfordshire, riot police have been mustered in support of Constant bailiffs and numbers of people assaulted and injured.

 A chalet-home, three caravans including a mobile-home and several vehicles were destroyed after dawn raids. The value of private property and personal belongings burned and ploughed up in these two evictions alone has been estimated at more than £500,000.

 Evictions are being monitored, evidence has been gathered and human rights cases have been brought against the perpetrators ( bailiffs, councils, police ) and the Trans-European Roma Federation has denounced this style of operation as ethnic-cleansing.

 Some 600 Travellers and supporters marched through central London on a Roma Nation Day protest calling for an end to such evictions and swifter planning consent for caravan and mobile-home parks.

 Dale Farm has now become the focus of this campaign, being the latest of many to face eviction. At least 200 plots, or individual yards, have been bulldozed in the past 18 months – following the withholding of planning permission due to widespread racial prejudice against Gypsies in Britain.

This prejudice has been exacerbated in the run up to the UK general election by Tory leader Michael Howard. He staged a television event this month close to Dale Farm announcing that his party would push through the closing down of all such “illegal Gypsy encampments.”

In his enthusiasm to play the racist card against a vulnerable minority, Mr Howard ignore the fact that Day Farm is not “illegal”, neither is it an encampment. Planning consent for this virtual village, home to close on one thousand people, only awaits
further confirmation and extension.

 Some 15 fresh planning applications have been submitted and a public inquiry will commence on 10 May. It is expected to be still in process when the Dale Farm “freedom march” reaches Basildon Civic Centre four days later.

Directions: A127 towards Southend. Look out for caravans on left at Basildon and turn into Oak Lane. Take Southend train from Liverpool Street Station. More details soon.

on behalf of Dale Farm

Save Dale Farm

Eviction Threat From Council

The largest Traveller site in the country with over a thousand residents, Dale Farm in Crays Hill, near Basildon and Wickford, Essex, is under threat of eviction. Basildon council will make a decision by the 28th May, but have already paid bailiff company Constant and Co £20,000 to make a plan for eviction. This company makes a lot of money brutally evicting people from their homes.

The whole site is not facing immediate eviction but around 40 – 60 families are. The council is planning to spend a million GPRS and a half of ratepayers money to make these families homeless. cheap jerseys After Dale Farm there really is nowhere to go. Dale Farm has been a refuge in the last few years for families evicted from other sites. The impossible odds of actually receiving planning permission for Traveller sites (over 90% rate of refusal) means brutal and violent evictions across the country.

The size of Dale Farm was cheap nba jerseys an attempt to find safety in numbers, which is soon to Zeiten be stripped away. The right wing press has made headlines in the wholesale nba jerseys last few months claiming that the Gypsy – Traveller community is using Human Rights law for their own benefit. The European Convention on Human Rights does protect the rights of communities to live in a way that is culturally significant to them, and also stops people being moved away from vital services. Children will world! lose their education through eviction, the ill will lose their medical treatment, wholesale jerseys China the au elderly will lose their care.

What You Can Do 

Come to a Public Meeting at the Ramparts Centre, Rampart St, off Commercial Road, Whitechapel, London. ( nr Aldgate East ). Sunday 29th may. 1 PM.

 Join the campaign to support Dale Farm come to the meeting or visit

You could also  send a protest letter to Basildon council. or our ‘listening’ Birgit governmment.