Presentation of the petition at 10 Downing Street against the eviction of Traveller families from the Dale Farm site at Basildon: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-14667794. In the next few weeks, some but not all the families living on this site ate going to be kicked out, at a cost of over £10 million, £6.85 million on which is being subsidised by the Home Office and Communities and Local Government. Over a third of the families have planning permission and will be left alone, so it isn't as if there were overwhelming planning arguments for the evictions. There is nowhere else in the county to which the evicted Travellers could move, so they will be on a roadside facing new harassment, with endless disruption to family life and interruption to the children's education. Travellers are already the ethnic minority with the worst record of educational attendance and achievement and this is not going to help. The health experience of Gypsies and Travellers is also substantially worse than that of settled communities and again, and the trauma of eviction will harm the victims access to care, particularly the disabled, pregnant women and children already suffering from chronic diseases. This eviction is an inhumane waste of public resources which can only impose further burdens on the victims and the public purse for many years to come - and it could so easily be avoided by finding the small amount of land needed to accommodate the families who don't have permission on the Dale Farm site, somewhere else in the neighbourhood.
See also Amnesty International's statement at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-14635807, and Travellers' appeal to the UN's Committee on the Eimination of Racial Discrimination at www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23980712-call-to-halt-travellers-eviction.do