Travellers In Hawkwell

Hawkwell Councillors John and Christine Mason have this evening posted on their facebook page:

TRAVELLERS – Just to let everyone know that Essex Police and Rochford District Council are aware that 8 Travellers Caravans (inc Campers) are visiting the Car Park at the rear of Clements Hall Leisure Centre nearest Hawkwell Park Drive, Hawkwell.

This post has already been read 754 times since Aug 2nd 2015

8 Comments

  1. The Mighty Oz

    Er, visiting ! Do we mean illigally occupying land owned by someone else. PC gone mad.

    Reply
  2. John Mason

    Travellers at Clements Hall, Hawkwell

    We have been asked by residents what actions we have taken as Ward Members.

    Essex Police were informed by Virgin Active very soon after they occupied the car park.

    As District Councillors Christine and I informed the RDC Chief Executive and the process for removal was commenced immediately which involves our Legal Department and a Specialist Unit at Essex County Council which RDC employs.

    Christine and I visited the Virgin Active Centre Manager immediately and reviewed all the actions they had taken and further actions to be taken.

    We have stayed in direct touch with the CEO of RDC and ordered the locking of the Park Gardens Car Park Gates to prevent further ingress overnight as the Virgin Active Gate in Clements Hall Way would also be locked.

    Councillor John Mason, Independent, Hawkwell West

    http://www.facebook.com/rochfordindependent

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    Reply
  3. John Mason

    I have personally made a courtesy visit, as a District Councillor, to the Duty Manager at Virgin Active and met with Essex Police.

    Security arrangements at Clements Hall Leisure Centre have been reviewed and adjusted.

    Travellers will not be permitted to visit the Centre.

    All of our By Laws seem to be observed on site in the Car Park………….apart from being there without permission!!

    The Council Car Park at Park Gardens will remain locked although for emergencies/needs of the disabled I will have a key in Hawkwell shortly. Chief Inspector Cummings is in touch with Amar Dave, CEO of RDC and CI Cummings will stay in close touch.

    Everything that should be done has been done.

    Reply
  4. John Mason

    Welcome News………….The Travellers have left.

    Just a few bin bags for the Council/Virgin Active to deal with as far as I can see.

    http://www.facebook.com/rochfordindependent

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    Reply
  5. admin (Post author)

    Thank you John and Christine for your work on this.

    Reply
  6. Jim Cripps

    Yep – well done to you both and all concerned , a swift response in those situations is vital as days becomes weeks / months and it then assumes the old chestnut ‘ human rights issue’ (Dale Farm et al ).

    Reply
  7. Bawler

    Couldn’t work out how to start a new post, so tagged this on the end of this one -couldn’t see it on here anywhere else …

    http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/11427826.Rochford_District_Council_take_pre_emptive_action_against_travellers/

    A rare, but welcome big thumbs up to those concerned for this! :)

    TRAVELLERS have been prevented from moving on to a green belt site in Rawreth after Rochford District Council successfully obtained a High Court Interim Injunction.

    The High Court Order was obtained as a pre-emptive measure to prevent the site off Cheshunt Drive, off Rawreth Lane, from being used as a traveller site.

    The move was taken by the council after hardcore and fencing appeared on the site and it was considered necessary and expedient to take action to prevent a residential occupation.

    It was viewed that it would be prudent to take action ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend rather than deal with the aftermath of any Travellers’ site being established.

    By taking pre-emptive action, this could save the council hundreds of thousands of pounds associated with a situation where travellers have already settled on a site.

    If the landowner were to breach the Interim Injunction they would be in contempt of court, which is punishable ultimately by imprisonment.

    The order means the landowner cannot

    • Use the site as a traveller pitch

    • Erect, bring or allow caravans or mobile homes (of any type whatsoever including touring or static), sheds, structures or storage facilities on the site

    • Introduce hardstanding onto the site

    • Carry out any building works or engineering operations whatsoever including but not limited to the installation, or connection to, services on the site.

    Rochford District Councillor for planning, Ian Ward, said: “Rochford District Council has successfully obtained a High Court Interim Injunction to block travellers moving onto a greenbelt site in Rawreth.

    “We’ve all heard of the horror stories where councils have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds to evict Travellers from a site which is unsuitable.

    “It would seem much more sensible to take pre-emptive action where it is necessary.

    “This is a much cheaper and more effective option, which saves the taxpayer from having to shell out large sums of money.

    “The Council will not hesitate in taking firm and decisive action against those who breach planning rules.

    “I would also emphasise that the Council is taking steps to provide suitable space for Gypsies and Travellers through our Allocations Plan, which has provision for a lawful site at Michelins Farm.”

    The Council will pursue a full injunction at the High Court next week.
    From the Echo

    Reply
  8. Chris Black

    Hi, Bawler, you beat us to it :) we were going to post something tonight – and will still do so, so that comments cam be kept together. Glad you are pleased…!

    Reply

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