Live updates

Former Dale Farm travellers face eviction

Travellers camped on a site next to Dale Farm - which was cleared last year - face further council action to have them moved on. The action will not be taken until a judicial review lodged by travellers over earlier enforcement notices is resolved.

"The way we're treated, it's like we're not human beings - we're seen as a problem that they need to get rid of.

"There are more travellers than there are sites, so where do they expect us to live? It's so hard to tell my children that we're never going to get to go home."

– Mary Flynn, a former Dale Farm resident

Travellers face more council action

Travellers displaced after the eviction of Dale Farm are facing a second operation to have them moved from a neighbouring site. Those living on the roadside at Oak Lane will be moved after Basildon Council voted in favour of further action.

"Whilst I cannot comment directly on the committee decision, it is clearly in line with our determination to enforce and uphold the law but tempered with the need to make sensible and pragmatic decisions based on the situation.

"Nothing has changed in our attitude to dealing with illegal development or protecting the green belt, and we remain a local authority that will continue to deal with law breaking and serious breaches of planning control."

– Tony Ball, leader of the council


Dale Farm site now a hazard say locals

One year after a £7m operation to remove travellers from the Dale Farm site in Essex, some local residents say the area has become a rubbish dump and a health hazard.

Despite the high-profile eviction, some travellers remain camped on a road leading up to it.

In show of anger at the evictions a year ago, about 100 people tried to storm the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) offices in central London today.

Some demonstrators attempted to gain entry into the building to "evict" the department's secretary Eric Pickles but were restrained on the ground by police.

Accused face no further action

A council will take no further action against protesters arrested during the clearance of Europe's largest illegal travellers' site. The protesters were among those arrested as they clashed with police and bailiffs as travellers were removed from Dale Farm, Essex, in October last year.

Basildon Council successfully prosecuted two people for obstructing a bailiff and issued cautions to 10 others. But the council has said it is dropping the prosecution of 14 others. It said the decision followed a district judge questioning the public interest in bringing the earlier prosecution.

This has been a finely balanced decision. I understand and respect the judge's comments about the time that has elapsed, the fact the site is cleared and any fines imposed would be low. I am concerned about the message this would send to the protesters, who caused the council to incur considerable extra expense, and to our residents who have had to pick up the bill.

However, there are a number of other factors to consider, including the time and cost for the police and the council and the court time that this is taking up."

– Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council

The multi-million pound clearance followed a decade-long row over unauthorised plots on the six-acre site. There were violent clashes as scores of protesters joined travellers to resist the clearance.

The solicitor for the protesters welcomed the news.

As well as the millions spent on the eviction itself, Basildon Council sought to spend even more on a vindictive prosecution of a group of people who happened to disagree with them - and this at a time when local services are being slashed because of budget cuts. Thankfully for the clients, it is over."

– Raj Chada, Hodge Jones and Allen LLP, representing the protesters