Statement on Dale Farm eviction

Posted on: 20th October 2011


The All Party Parliamentary Group for Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, which is chaired by Andrew George MP, has issued a comment on the eviction of Travellers from Dale Farm today. This follows an offer made by the APPG to assist in seeking a mediated solution:

“We regret that the eviction is going ahead and that offers of mediation have not been taken up.

“Of course, we do not condone breaking the law and would urge people to comply with any reasonable requests from the police.

“Those occupants who have reasonably sought legal redress to sustain their families and community have conducted themselves with dignity.

“Those Travellers who live on the unauthorised portion of the site have always acknowledged that their occupation was not authorised; that they did not have planning permission. They have never disputed this fact but have been given no option but to seek all lawful means to negotiate whilst they made efforts to identify alternative authorised sites in the area.

“It is a further matter for regret that it will cost tax payers up to £18 million to restore the site to its previous condition, as a disused scrap yard. We also note that the Council intends to remove hard standing, much of which had been originally laid down by the Council.

“These pitches were purchased lawfully by the occupants and they will, of course, remain the lawful owners of the land.

“We suspect that many of those who support the eviction would prefer it if the authorised site were removed as well.

“Bearing in mind reports on this case both from the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission and UN Human Rights Commission, we hope that this will give the country and the Government in particular, the opportunity to reflect upon the intense difficulties for Gypsy Roma Travellers to find lawful sites on which they can live. The Government acknowledges that at least 1 in 5 of all Travellers are forced to live on unauthorised sites because there are insufficient authorised sites nationwide.

“It should be noted that whatever is happening in respect of the eviction of Travellers at Dale Farm, the remainder of Dale Farm will continue to be an authorised Travellers’ site.

“We hope that the Local Authority will meet its statutory obligations to the families who will be evicted as a result of their actions.”


join our mailing list
* indicates required