"Gamma Newsletter" 30th Nov 2017
Mid Devon needs 35 permanent gypsy and traveller pitches by 2034
The need for 35 permanent gypsy and traveller pitches in Mid Devon until 2034 has been discussed by councillors. Discussions have also taken place over the need for 34 “bricks and mortar” dwelling houses, with no additional need for transit pitches being needed across the district. Mid Devon’s current assessment of the need for gypsy and traveller accommodation (GTAA) identified an annualised need of three pitched per year until 2019, falling back to 1.2 per year afterwards. This frontloads the need, although the average yearly need over a five year plan period is 1.8 pitches.
Expansion of Fordwich travellers' camp gets the go-ahead
Gypsies have won a landmark battle to expand a caravan camp after a planning inspector ruled Canterbury City Council has failed to identify enough travellers’ sites in the district. The authority had rejected an application for eight more caravans at Moate Farm off Stodmarsh Road in Fordwich. But the inspector has now overruled the decision and granted permission, blaming the council’s lack of traveller provision as the main reason. Inspector Richard Clegg said there was a “clear, existing need” for gypsy and traveller sites in the district, which was not currently being met by the council or earmarked in its Local Plan
Travellers move south due to austerity, police find
Travellers and gypsies from the north of England are heading south in search of more affluent neighbourhoods, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal. A police investigation into what caused 100 travellers to go on the rampage forcing a Norfolk seaside town into lockdown this summer found that “economic deprivation” and austerity policies were encouraging travellers to move in search of work. Nearly 40 crimes, including rape, shoplifting, theft and threatening behaviour were reported to Norfolk Police over an August weekend in Cromer when 23 motor homes parked up illegally at the end of the town’s carnival. Police failed to make a single arrest over the two days
Gypsies and Travellers will be made to pay rates and bills
Gypsies and Travellers who take up pitches at new council-run sites will be forced to pay rates and utility bills, according to officers. Anglesey Council’s housing department say that plans for a permanent four pitch site for ‘new age Travellers’ at Penhesgyn near Menai Bridge, should be submitted for planning approval within the next month. Similar plans are also in the pipeline for a temporary four pitch stopping site for Romany Gypsies near the A55 at Star.
Concerns raised over Star Gypsy and traveller site plan
More than 50 people have attended a public meeting on Anglesey to voice concerns over a proposed Gypsy and traveller site. Land has been earmarked for a temporary stopping place in Star and a permanent residential site near Penhesgyn. Residents at ...and more »
Fracking protest injunction based on "flimsy evidence"
A multinational firm has been accused of using “flimsy and exaggerated” evidence when it obtained an “astonishingly broad” injunction against all anti-fracking protesters, a court has heard. Petrochemicals giant Ineos is seeking to enforce a sweeping injunction to prevent any protester from obstructing its fracking operations. Campaigners face being jailed, fined or having their assets seized if they break the injunction. At a three-day hearing in the high court, two campaigners are seeking to have the injunction struck out, arguing that it is “anti-democratic and oppressive”.
New date for meeting revealed after anti-fracking protest
A meeting which was suspended after anti-frackers staged a protest has been rearranged. North Yorkshire County Council’s Ryedale Area Committee was abandoned on November 15, but will now take place on Monday, December 11 at the Ryedale District Council offices, Ryedale House, in Malton from 10.30am. The first meeting was suspended when campaigners protested after a question they wanted to ask was ruled to have been submitted after the deadline.
Protesters stage "slow walk" outside fracking site
Protesters have held a 20-minute 'slow walk' protest in front of a convoy of lorries at Kirby Misperton this morning. A group of about 10 protesters walked in the middle of the road in front of a lorry-mounted crane and two tankers after they had left the hydraulic fracturing site on Habton Road. "Every day, officers will engage with the protest community, and clearly explain what is safe and reasonable. We will support and protect those engaged in peaceful protest, while at the same time balancing the rights of others to go about their lawful business."
LETTERS: Fracking protest is not in my name
With apologies to everyone who is heartily sick of both the protesters and the endless correspondance, I had to reply to two letters in the Gazette & Herald (November 1). David Pasley, well said. I know you speak for me and I believe you speak for many. Lawful peaceful protest would be supported by many of us even though we disagree with the protest. This is neither lawful nor peaceful. Glyn Wild claims 92 per cent of residents in Swinton said they “were against fracking”. I am sure they did. If most people were asked whether they were opposed to development that might impact them they would say they were. Wrong question...
This fracking company just won a court injunction banning protest
A court injunction banning all protest by anti-fracking campaigners against shale firm INEOS has just been extended. On Thursday, a High Court judge said the UK-wide ban on civil disobedience against the company could continue. It means anyone who tries to obstruct the firm’s fracking activities risks being jailed, fined, or having their assets seized. But the company lost a key part of their case, which sought to maintain a ban on ‘harassment’ – something that was deemed too sweeping and vague. Campaigners have reacted furiously to the decision to extend the protest ban.
Fracking firm wins extension to "draconian" protest injunction
A multinational firm has secured a long-term, sweeping injunction against anti-fracking protesters despite critics calling it “draconian and anti-democratic”. On Thursday, a high court judge extended the wide-ranging injunction sought by petrochemicals giant Ineos, which covers all anti-fracking campaigners. The injunction prohibits campaigners from interfering unlawfully with Ineos’s fracking operations. Anyone who obstructs the firm’s fracking activities faces being jailed, fined, or having their assets seized. Mr Justice Morgan dismissed a legal challenge brought by two anti-fracking campaigners, Joe Corré, the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and Joe Boyd, who had argued that the injunction was oppressive and should be discarded.
Derbyshire woman and four others deny obstructing workers during anti-fracking protest
Protestors camped outside drilling company PR Marriott, on Old Pit Lane, Danesmoor, during protests about seismic testing with proposed fracking across north Derbyshire including Marsh Lane and Bolsover. A Chesterfield magistrates’ court trial heard on Tuesday how Carrie-Anne Field, 29, and James Alden, 54, had been linked with an iron tube and had laid down at an entrance at Marriott’s. Miss Field denied obstruction after allegedly trespassing and preventing traffic movements and Mr Alden has been accused of aggravated trespass on a similar basis. Zoe Beecham, 25, Owen English, 34, and Sophie Pearce, 22, have also pleaded not guilty to obstruction after the protests on July 13.
Anti-frackers to protest outside "closed meeting" tonight where IGas will address councillors
Anti-fracking protestors will tonight demonstrate outside a ‘closed meeting’ where energy company IGas is giving a presentation to local councillors about plans for an exploratory well. Activists are gathering by Thornton Science Park at Ince from 6pm tonight (Wednesday, November 22). The Chronicle understands the IGas presentation is taking place within a regular community forum hosted by Peel Environmental under the name of its nearby energy park, Protos, close to where IGas wishes to drill the exploratory fracking well in the search for shale gas.
Why the fracking fight in Kirby Misperton rumbles on
For months now, the village of Kirby Misperton has become synonymous with the divisive world of fracking. Since May 2016, when the gas company Third Energy was granted permission to frack for shale gas at the existing two-mile deep well, its residents have become accustomed to the regular rumble of trucks. Though it awaits the final green light from the government, Third Energy is ready to test frack after North Yorkshire County Council approved its plans - prompting protesters to set up a "protection camp" two miles away. For months now, police officers form a line along the road shortly before a convoy of lorries carrying equipment rolls down the hill and heads through the gates.
Lancaster councillor has "no regrets" after fracking protest guilty verdict
A Lancaster politician said she has “no regrets” after being found guilty of obstructing the highway during a fracking protest. Lancashire County Councillor Gina Dowding was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £250 fine following a trial at Blackpool Magistrates Court. Gina Dowding "locked on" at the fracking site Gina Dowding "locked on" at the fracking site She was one of 12 people, including two other councillors, who “locked on” to barrels and pipes outside fracking company Cuadrilla’s site in Preston New Road in July. The group were also accused of preventing workers from going about their business, but were found not guilty as no evidence was submitted by Cuadrilla.
Watchdog Calls for "Urgent" Review of Police Tactics at Fracking Protests
A police watchdog has called for two reviews into law enforcement tactics handling anti-fracking protests, in what has been described as “an authoritarian war” against the right to protest at a shale gas site in Lancashire. Netpol called for an “urgent” review into the national policy on policing anti-fracking protests as well as an external review to be done into the way police have conducted operations in Lancashire. The report is based on its observations on how police have responded over the past year to mounting opposition towards shale gas exploration across the country. It states that, “the scale of complaints about intimidating and confrontational police tactics at Preston New Road in Lancashire means an external review of the policing operation there is now essential.”
Preston New Road anti-fracking councillor "would protest again"
The Green Party's Gina Dowding was one of 12 people convicted at Blackpool Magistrates' Court over a protest at Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site. They were all handed a fine of £250 and a 12-month conditional discharge. A spokeswoman for the energy firm said "elected councillors breaking the law should not be acceptable". The protest on 3 July was part of a month of action by campaign group Reclaim the Power. The councillor was one of six women and three men arrested at the site and later charged, while three other women were served with a summons over the protest. Alongside the obstruction charge, all 12 were also accused of seeking to prevent workers from going about their lawful business.
Former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett to attend protest at North Yorkshire fracking site
The former Green Party leader Natalie Bennett will attend a protest alongside campaigners tomorrow at the Kirby Misperton fracking site. Ms Bennett today announced she is cutting short her trip to Germany, where she had been involved in the United Nations (UN) COP23 climate talks, to attend the rally. She stand alongside campaigners during the protest outside the Habton Road site in North Yorkshire tomorrow - in an event being billed as 'Green Friday'. It will be the latest demonstration in a series that have been staged at the Third Energy fracking site since September.
Green Party joint leader Jonathan Bartley dragged along road by police at Yorkshire fracking protest
The joint leader of the Green Party was dragged along the ground by police after he refused to move at a fracking protest in Yorkshire. Jonathan Bartley, who heads up the environmentally-minded party alongside Caroline Lucas, was one of dozens of protesters who sat in the road outside the fracking base in Kirby Misperton in Ryedale on Tuesday. The politician, from London, began giving a speech to campaigners before being cut off by a police officer who told crowds they were blocking the road.
Man in court after fracking protest
A man has appeared in court charged with the willful obstruction of a highway after he allegedly spent a night on top of a tanker on Preston New Road. John Knox, 37, of Douglas Avenue, Blackpool pleaded not guilty to the charge at a hearing at Blackpool Magistrates Court on Tuesday, November 7. He was also charged with breaching his bail conditions. He has been bailed to appear at Blackpool Magistrates Court on March 9 and is not allowed to enter Preston New Road between Maple Farm and Westby Road
Fracking demonstrators stage "slow walk" protest in Kirby Misperton
Demonstrators in Kirby Misperton took part in a "slow walk" peaceful protest near the gates of the hydraulic fracturing site. A group of about ten people walked in the road in front of a lorry along Habton Road, delaying it from 2.05pm until 2.25pm. They then moved to the side of the road and the lorry entered the site. Police liaison officers helped facilitate the peaceful protest. A similar protest took place in Kirby Misperton yesterday. Superintendent Lindsey Robson, of North Yorkshire Police, said: "We've been taking a neighbourhood policing approach to protest activity at Kirby Misperton. That means we talk to people on all sides of the issue, and support and protect those engaged in peaceful protest, as we did today."
Women chain themselves to Conservative Club in fracking protest
12 protestors demonstrated outside the Conservative Party building in Pickering this morning, chaining themselves to the railings and wearing sashes reading “Ban Fracking #WeSaidNo”. The group of women, who all live in Ryedale, then proceeded to carry out a pop-up protest outside Pickering’s Barclays Bank, who are financing the fracking operation at KM8 through their subsidiary, Third Energy.
Fracking protester warns: "Yorkshire"s gorgeous, but that can be taken away"
Since September, when Third Energy started preparing the site at Kirby Misperton for fracking, Leigh Coghill has been one of a group of around forty Ryedale locals to have spent almost every day protesting next to the gates to the well, holding banners and placards, and watching in dismay as lorries trundle in. The business secretary, Greg Clark, is expected to give Third Energy its final permission to begin test fracking any day now, with the company saying the site is nearly ready for the process to begin. The fracking would be the first to take place in the UK since 2011, when two tremors of magnitude 1.5 and 2.3 woke people from their sleep after tests near Blackpool. If the trial run is a success, it will pave the way for the site to operate permanently.
Ten cleared over Lancashire anti-fracking protest
Ten Greenpeace protesters involved in an anti-fracking protest have been cleared of obstructing a highway. The group of five men and five women sat on the ground in front of shale gas firm Cuadrilla's test site at Little Plumpton, Lancashire, on 3 May. All ten denied the charge when they appeared at Blackpool Magistrates' Court. District judge Jeff Brailsford found the group not guilty after hearing they had been sitting calmly and peacefully. He said the defendants held "genuine beliefs and are entitled to express those beliefs". They had a "lawful excuse" for their protest but his decision did not "set a precedent" for other cases, he added.
Cleared: Anti-fracking protesters found not guilty
A judge has acquitted 10 Greenpeace activists involved in an anti-fracking protest in Lancashire. It was the largest trial of its type since anti-fracking protests began earlier this year and marked the the biggest mass not guilty finding. The 10 “locked-on”outside the Cuadrilla shale gas exploration site at Preston new Road near Blackpool for eight hours in May this year. Even when they were each given a police warning they refused to stop their action, District Judge Jeff Brailsford heard. They were later all charged with wilfully obstruction the A583-which runs alongside the drilling base. Blackpool Magistrates' Court heard, however, the protest failed to stop 11 HGVs leaving the site
Police "facilitate slow-walk peaceful protest" at fracking site
Police say they have today facilitated a “slow-walk” peaceful protest outside the fracking site at Kirby Misperton, near Pickering. A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said a group of protesters walked in front of heavy goods vehicles making deliveries to the Habton Road site at 12.55pm. "Police Liaison Officers engaged with the protesters to facilitate the peaceful demonstration," he said. Superintendent Alisdair Dey said: "We need to balance the rights, needs and wishes of everyone at the site, including those who want to assemble and protest safely and peacefully.
Moves to curb democratic fracking protests in the UK "extremely worrying"
The chemicals multinational Ineos is facing criticism for seeking to curb democratic protests against fracking in a move described by Green MP Caroline Lucas as “extremely worrying”. On Tuesday Ineos began its latest legal move to impose a sweeping injunction against all campaigners protesting over its fracking operations. Any campaigner may be jailed, fined or have their assets seized if they obstruct the firm’s fracking activities. The injunction is being opposed in a court hearing by two anti-fracking campaigners, Joe Corré, the son of fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, and Joe Boyd. The pair have called the injunction oppressive and draconian.
Squatters evicted from makeshift camp at closed adventure park
A squatters' camp where people slept in treehouses and dens has been cleared by bailiffs. A group of activists moved onto the former North Hulme Adventure Park in August. They say they were providing ‘security’ for around 20 homeless people. A squatters' camp where people slept in treehouses and dens has been cleared by bailiffs. A group of activists moved onto the former North Hulme Adventure Park in August. They say they were providing ‘security’ for around 20 homeless people.
Hammersmith Magistragtes" Court proceedings disrupted after squatters enter building
Security outside Hammersmith Magistrates’ Court has been beefed up after squatters entered the building on Thursday (November 16). They were inside the building for less than an hour, according to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), but caused disruption, with scheduled hearings moved to Westminster.
Bus depot blaze was started by squatters
A fire which broke out in a former bus depot is likely to have been caused by homeless people who are using the building for shelter, according to investigators. Fire crews were called to the derelict building in Magdalen Street, Colchester, just after 7.30am yesterday. The blaze was extinguished within half an hour and crew manager Gavin Ellis said his officers had recovered lots of drug paraphernalia from the bus depot, as well as a large knife. He said: “There was bedding, bits of rubbish and clothes which have caught on fire.
Pictures show mess left behind after squatters are evicted
Pictures have been released showing the mess left behind after squatters were evicted from a shop they had been occupying. Agents working for the landlord said the mess would cost several hundred pounds to clear up - on top of the cost of the eviction and the cost of securing the property.
Squatters on Mutley Plain have been kicked out - and told to stay out
A group of squatters who have been living in different empty buildings along Mutley Plain for months have been kicked out. Most recently Phil Northmore and Ryan Roberts had been squatting in the vacant former Polish shop, after being moved on from the Barclays bank building next door. But now the friends, along with a few other squatters, have been told to leave and not come back. An enforcement officer served them with an 'Interim Possession Order', giving them 24 hours to leave.
Chelmsford property squatters ruling linked to Queen Boudicca"s battle with the Romans
A row over ownership of a property in Chelmsford has been compared to the war between Queen Boudicca and the Romans in a colourful High Court ruling. Local businessman, David Elvin, was handed the keys to number 9, Boudicca Mews by police in the wake of a cannabis raid in 2013. However, Garry McClelland claimed squatter's rights over the property, saying he had been in rent-free occupation without issue for more than 12 years. Mr Justice Turner was asked to decide who were the rightful owners. The judge said the row had its roots in the redevelopment of the mews in 2006 and the "tiresome complication" of the title deeds to the property having gone missing.
Squatters who "cleaned up abandoned swimming pool, refilled it, then plumbed in the sauna" are evicted
Squatters have been turfed out of the former Chorlton Baths - after filling up the swimming pool and bringing the sauna back into use. The group, known as ‘We R’, say they had drained and refilled the disused pool and plumbed the sauna for use by the community. The former council baths closed in June 2015; a group of around 28 squatters have occupied the building for the last month. Armed with brushes and some plumbing knowhow, they had started to bring the facility back into use, but were evicted from the property by bailiffs
Upper Street bank squatters who have a mission to feed homeless
Squatters who have moved into an abandoned bank want to open a centre to feed the homeless. About 15 people moved into the former NatWest bank building. “We’re going to do tea and coffee outside and make it look really nice,” said bar worker Daniel. He added: “We’re going to create an art space as well for people who want to make art. We’re keeping the place clean.” He said he was forced to squat in the capital after a steep increase in his rent. “The people who live here all work. It’s ridiculous the housing prices in London. Even the council has a long waiting list for houses,” he said.
Husband "secretly forged his wife's signature to take out two mortgages on their home for £590000"
The wife of a former head of a wealthy tourist board is suing a mortgage company after she claims her husband forged her signature to remortgage their home. She is fighting him over fears she may be made homeless
"Why doesn"t the law doesn"t apply to them?" Answers to some of the most-asked questions about travellers
Travellers setting up camp in Derby has always been a controversial issue for residents. When a group move to a new area there is often a public outcry from neighbours and this can place pressure on a council to act. ome travellers visiting Derby have left a trail of rubbish in their wake after leaving a piece of land. This often throws up a number of questions – especially as to who foots the bill for cleaning up. Our sister title, the Nottingham Post, put some of the most-asked questions to one of their local council - here are the replies
The eight most-asked questions about travellers - and their answers
Travellers are a very controversial issue for local councils up and down the country. If a group set up on land there is often public outcry from the nearby residents and this can place pressure on a council to act. Often these situations can throw up questions that many feel need to be answered. So we have had a look at the eight most-asked questions and answered them.
"Is the council scared of them?" Answers to the eight most-asked questions about travellers
We’ve teamed up with legal experts at Gedling Borough Council to look at some of the common myths about travellers. Two months ago dozens of travellers pitched up at Thackeray’s Lane Recreation Ground, leaving Gedling Borough Council with a bill of more than £24,000 to clear up. Travellers at the site left human excrement and even an abandoned HGV, all of which had to be removed by the council at the cost of the taxpayer. The council is now hoping to set up an ‘early warning system’ so local authorities can warn each other about traveller movements.
Early warning system being set up to tackle travellers in Nottinghamshire
A summit has been held with councils across the county. The leader of the council, John Clarke, has said that residents are ‘really angry, and rightly so’ about the number of travellers who settle in the area. That’s why he hosted a summit on the issue, with the city, Rushcliffe, Gedling, Broxtowe, Newark and Sherwood, Ashfield, and the county councils as well as the police. Now, he hopes to set up an ‘early warning system’ so councils can warn each other about traveller movements, as well as securing more permanent sites, and securing existing sites to make them more traveller-proof
Police secure court order to close flat and caravan parked up on Sheffield estate
Officers have successfully obtained a court order to close down a flat and caravan situated on a Sheffield estate. The unit and nearby flat have been shut down by officers on grounds of anti-social behaviour. An application to Sheffield Magistrates was accepted to close both premises for three months. A spokesman from Sheffield South East Neighbourhood Policing Team said: "The caravan on Irving Street has been causing some issues to the people of Darnall as has the flat above 160 Main Road. We executed a warrant and found some truly shocking wiring but also enough to justify our concerns to issue a closure notice to prevent further nuisance and disorder
Chilthorne Domer man sent ex-partner multiple text messages despite court order ban
Chilthorne Domer man sent ex-partner multiple text messages despite court order ban. He admitted to sending 27 text messages to his ex which he was prohibited from doing so by a previous court order.
Ilminster man lived with wife for four months despite court order to ... -
Daniel Christian Shelley was arrested from his home address by police and brought before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil in custody. The 31-year-old defendant, of West Street, pleaded not guilty to a charge that on November 19 at Ilminster he did an act, namely communicated and resided with his wife which he was prohibited from doing so by a non-molestation order made on February 17 at Taunton.
Husband denies breaching court order by living with his wife
An Ilminster man who had been living with his wife for the past four months despite being ordered by the courts to keep away from her denied breaching a non-molestation order. Daniel Christian Shelley was arrested from his home address by police and brought before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil in custody. Prosecutor Paul Ricketts said that following the imposition of the order in February after being convicted of an offence of battery, Shelley was approached by his wife who moved back into his address in West Street.
Traveller clampdown continues as greater eviction powers are granted for 10 new Walsall sites
Travellers injunctions have been slapped on 10 more hotspots to help remove illegal camps within 24 hours.The injunction is the same as those already granted which cover 14 sites across the borough and allows the authority to move encampments on within 24 hours as opposed to the four to five days it normally takes.
Traveller camp in Willenhall shut down within hours thanks to new powers
New powers to evict travellers from sites across Walsall were put into action for the first time – with an illegal encampment removed within hours. A number of caravans set up camp at the Wakes Ground car park in Willenhall on Thursday, which is one of 11 new sites covered by an injunction Walsall Council were given the power to use. Council leaders have said that the quick removal of the encampment shows that their ‘hard work has paid off’. The Wakes car park in Willenhall is one of 11 sites which have been added to the original 12 across the borough covered by injunctions handed out last year which give the council authorisation to evict travellers camped on the sites more quickly and save taxpayers money from expensive court proceedings, officer time the cost of clearing sites.
Illegal traveller encampment cleared from Telford sports centre
Telford & Wrekin Council have cleared a large illegal encampment including horses, caravans and vehicles from a Dawley Sports Centre. The collection of horses, five caravans and six vehicles arrived overnight at the Phoenix Sports Centre and reported to Telford & Wrekin Council on the morning of Friday 17 November. The Council’s Community Safety and Environmental Enforcement officers and West Mercia Police visited the site that morning and offered the travellers the the opportunity to move onto the Council’s Transit Site under the section 62 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1194.The transit site allows travellers to stay, for a fee that includes a deposit and weekly rent, for up to three months. This offer was turned down and a “Notice to Quit” the borough was served and they cleared the site shortly after 2pm.
Illegal traveller camps in Folkestone have cost taxpayers "£22000 this year alone"
llegal traveller encampments have cost the Shepway taxpayer £22,000 this year, according to a councillor campaigning for a change in the law. Folkestone and surrounding others have witnessed dozens of unauthorised encampments in recent months. Now, a Shepway District councillor has called for the law to be strengthened allowing local authorities to remove unauthorised encampments more efficiently due to what he calls increasing “incursions” on council-owned land. According to Ukip councillor Damon Robinson, one traveller encampment on a playing field caused a £1,000 plus clean up bill
Boxer Tyson Fury"s fury over Milton village traveller play park "germs"
"Gypsy King" boxer Tyson Fury has waded in to a row after a parish council said a park needed to be "thoroughly cleaned" as traveller children who had used it were probably "unvaccinated". An email to residents in North Lodge Park in Milton, Cambridgeshire, told them to keep their own children away. The email said the advice came from a county council official, as the Cambridge News reported. It was "totally unacceptable... to say traveller kids have germs", Fury said. Milton Parish Council member David Burch sent the email to residents at the new development after a traveller family moved on to the site earlier this month.
Shoppers terrorised by travellers who have invaded Arena Shopping Park
An illegal encampment of travellers has invaded a car park close to the Tesco store at the Arena shopping complex. Scores of caravans have set-up home in the ‘click and collect’ area of the car park, which is owned by Park Watch, not Tesco. Reports to the Telegraph suggested that some of the encampment had been ‘running amok’ in the store and one claimed that a customer was bitten by a dog from the encampment. Police confirmed they had received a report of a dog biting a customer's clothes at around 11pm last night. But a spokesperson for Tesco said: “We have not been made aware of any incidents in the store”. It is not the first time that travellers have set-up camp near to the Ricoh Arena . In December 2014, an encampment of travellers arrived on car park ‘C’ opposite the area
Warning to parents over "traveller germs" at children"s playground sparks outrage
Cambridge councillor David Burch told parents to keep children away until the play area had been 'thoroughly cleaned' because kids from traveller families are 'usually unvaccinated.' He sparked outrage after he advised the play area be taped off until cleaning had taken place - as families were simultaneously warned to keep their children away. The warning was contained in an email published in a resident group by Cambridge's Milton parish councillor David Burch, the Cambridge News reports. It was said to be needed after a single traveller family set up an illegal encampment in North Lodge Park (NLP), Milton, this month. Cllr Burch said a travellers' liaison officer had advised the play equipment would need to be "thoroughly" cleaned because travellers "do not normally have their children vaccinated."
Chelmsford travellers left behind human waste, nappies and custard and it cost £2000 to clean up
An illegal encampment in Chelmsford which saw human waste, raw pizza, nappies and custard left behind cost the tax-payer £2,000, it has been revealed. Chelmsford City councillor Christine Garrett, Conservative member for the Lawns ward, released the figure after concerned residents demanded to know how much the clean-up operation at Pollard's Green playing field in Springfield back in August actually cost.
Travellers to be blocked from popular site after residents get fed up with THIS
Travellers will not be able to gain access to land at King George V Stadium once a barrier has been erected. They have been ordered to leave by North East Lincolnshire Council officials. Travellers returned at the weekend to the field for the eighth time this year when six caravans and related cars parked on the council-owned field next to the stadium. North East Lincolnshire Council officials have served notices for them to leave the site within the next 24 hours.
Bromley council "aware" of traveller incursion on Richmal Crompton Fields
Bromley council says it is working to remove a traveller incursion that has arrived on a playing field. Caravans started arriving and parking up at Richmal Crompton Fields. Met Police were called to the scene. Councillor William Huntington-Thresher, executive councillor for environment said, “As soon as we become aware of any illegal encampment where the council is responsible for the land, robust action is always taken to end any encampment as quickly as possible. “We are working with the police in this regard, who have issued a section 61 notice at this site, which requires the travellers to leave.
Illegal encampments next to new A5-M1 Link Road - again
Drivers using the new A5-M1 Link Road in Dunstable say they are “fed up” with seeing caravans parked illegally on the land next to the road. A Gazette reader contacted the paper to complain about the travellers. He said: “They have been there since Wednesday, it is getting ridiculous. There are always caravans parked along the side of the new road, the council do move them but then a week or so later they are back. Everyone is getting fed up with it, something needs to be done to permanently stop them from illegally parking there.” A spokesman for Central Bedfordshire Council said: “We are aware of the unauthorised encampment and are dealing with it through the legal channels.”
Budget 2017: Fierce critics win universal credit reform
The government made changes in the budget to its new welfare scheme because it was feared that the policy was forcing landlords to desert the housing rental market. Philip Hammond announced a package of changes to universal credit worth £1.5 billion after facing widespread criticism, including from Sir John Major, charity chiefs and council leaders. The new welfare scheme combines six means-tested benefits, including housing benefit, into one payment. While claimants on legacy benefits had their housing benefit paid directly to their landlord, after the changes they are expected to pay rent from the single payment.
Universal credit boss wins "project management" award despite evidence that claimants are plunged into hardship
Theresa May has been told to close a loophole that allowed a lettings agency to issue pre-emptive eviction notices to tenants ahead of the extension of universal credit – because of expected rent arrears. Meanwhile, food bank organisers say they have ordered an extra 2,000 tonnes of Christmas food, to prepare for more people going hungry after moving onto the benefit. The Independent revealed how the Government is refusing to investigate evidence of a 30 per cent leap in the number of claimants seeking emergency food aid in areas already reached by universal credit.
Labour attacks universal credit as "not fit for purpose"
The shadow pensions secretary, Debbie Abrahams, has written to the chancellor demanding changes to UC, which Labour and other critics say is putting people in debt as it is rolled out into new parts of the country. The main request is to reduce the initial six-week wait for a payment under the system, which is designed to replace a range of other benefits such as tax credits and housing benefit. Charities working with claimants have said the six-week wait tends to put people into arrears, especially with their rent, and means they have to seek support from food banks. There has been speculation the government is planning to reduce this period.
Chancellor, keep a million children out of poverty. Fix universal credit
As it is being rolled out, universal credit is pushing people into debt and rent arrears, with many people in social and private rented housing being served eviction notices. The six-week wait for the first payment built into the design has been shown to be the key driver of this debt, even in households that weren’t in debt previously. In Greater Manchester, where universal credit was first piloted, the average arrears are now £824, compared with £451 for non-UC tenants. No wonder the Trussell Trust is reporting that demand for emergency food parcels is 30% higher in areas where universal credit is being rolled out; more people are turning to food banks to bridge the gap.
Grimsby MP wants "pre-emptive" eviction notices to be made illegal
Grimsby's MP is calling on the Government to “close the loophole” which allowed GAP Property to serve “pre-emptive” eviction notices on hundreds of its tenants. Melanie Onn , MP for Great Grimsby, slammed the company’s move, branding it “an outrageous way to treat people”. She said it had left GAP Property’s 350 tenants “stressed and worried about their futures”.The housing management company wrote to all its tenants warning them they faced being turfed out of their homes if they were late paying their rent due to universal credit delays. The letter gave tenants early warning of their two-month eviction notice, meaning residents could be made homeless in mid-January if they are late paying rent.
Gap Property director defends eviction notices saying "we had no other choice"
The director of Gap Property has defended its decision to send residents pre-emptive eviction notices ahead of the Universal Credit roll-out. He said: "We had no other choice, my business could go bust". Gap Property sent letters to most of its tenants informing them that they had been served a two month eviction notice ahead of the Universal Credit roll-out, saying that if they fall behind on their rent they will be asked to leave the property and that losses will be recovered from their guarantor. The director of the company Guy Piggott said that if he had not made this decision then his company could be left in a dire financial state in the new year, and that the intention was simply to warn tenants of the upcoming benefit changes so that they are able to plan ahead and prepare.