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Five point plan to stop travellers

G-P-B | 02.03.2005 10:03 | Repression | Social Struggles

I found this letter printed in the Nuneaton Tribune....

Five point plan to stop travellers.... (letters to the editor)

No doubt Many of your readers will have seen the BBC2 programme 'gypsy woman', following a group of travellers as they moved around nuneaton from one council owned area of land to another.

It was all very well for the current MP to say that the travellers "should go back from whence they came". This is all talk. Instead of legislating to protect the law abiding forgotten majority, Mr Blair's Government has joined in legal action on the side of travellers and has blocked attempts by Conservatives to amend the law in this parliment.

It is only yhe conservatives who have put together a five-point plan to address this issue. This Includes:

1. A review of the Human Rights Act to stop it being used to frustrate the enforcement of the law in relation to unauthorised development of land.

2. The introduction of new enforcement powers for local authorities to seize and remove unlawfully sited caravans.

3. Stopping irresponsible land speculation by giving councils the power to compulsorily purchase sites subject to continuing of a 'stop notice'

4. Encouraging the police to deal with trespass by travellers, and to tackle criminal or anti-social behavior on travellers sites.

5. Ensuring local authorities and local communities can decide whether and where travellers sites are set up.

On this issue, the conservatives are once again in tune with the mood on Nuneaton people.

Mark Pawsey
Parlimentary Candidate,
Nuneaton Conservatives.



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Common law power to evict

06.03.2005 21:43

The landlord of the site where I work retains a firm of bailiffs to remove any unauthorised encampments within twentyfour hours, invoking common law without any reference to the courts.

The belief seems to be that if a court application is made there is the danger that the court will allow a defence that whilst an encampment may be unlawful, its eviction would be disproportionate and maybe contrary to human rights (Article 8 comes to mind). The Human Rights Act only applies to public bodies, which neither the tenants, nor the landlord are, however the court is. It seems to be thought better therefore to evict an encampment rapidly and to answer questions later, if a court application opposing the eviction is made.

The travellers could apply to the court for an injunction preventing eviction either before or during encampment, but instead they move on rather than face the bailiffs. The common law grounds for eviction without court process therefore do not appear to have been tested in court (anyone know different?). I do not think any court would grant an injunction preventing a landlord from protecting their land and tenants prior to an encampment, but if an application were made between encampment and eviction (they would have to be quick!) there is the possibility of an order being granted on the grounds above.

The bailiffs firm offer this service as an insurance against the site being occupied and require that notices are posted warning anyone considering of setting up camp here. The landlord considers this policy necessary to protect the site and the tenants and considers it part of the cost of being a property company.

Other local companies seem to go to great lengths (steel barriers, huge concrete blocks etc) to keep unauthorised vehicles off their sites, maybe for the same reason.