A large group of Meriden RAID supporters will pack the public gallery at Solihull Council TOMORROW to press the leader of Solihull Council to take action against travellers who are threatening not to leave their illegal site on the agreed deadline of March 31st.
RAID leader David McGrath has tabled a question to the Leader of the Council advising him that travellers locally say that they will refuse to leave the site on March 31st even though they have signed a High Court backed agreements. Travellers have also said that they will 'make life hell' for local residents by holding illegal horse fairs. Mr McGrath is reminding the Leader that this will mean that the travellers are in contempt of court and prosecutiion should be sought to 'avoid another Dale Farm'
In a bizarre twist, Meriden travellers turned up to Solihull Council Planning meeting last week (30th of January) to OPPOSE a new £1m traveller site development in Old Damson Lane arguing that it hadn't been designed with their needs in mind. The site was approved by the Planning Committee.
Mr McGrath from RAID said 'The travellers attempted to manipulate the Planning Committee. They wanted to delay the new site so that their latest application in Eaves Green Lane had a better chance of approval - arguing that they had no where to go. In truth the Council has been making great strides to support travellers and have even offered them places in Alvechurch. Its just the usual Dale Farm style tactics of delay and deceit - all at the taxpayers expense'
The question to the leader reads:
'Given that occupants at an illegal traveller site in Meriden have said to residents (a) that they will not leave the site on the deadline set by the High Court (of March 31st 2013) - which was a signed agreement between the travellers and this Council and that (b) if and when they do leave they will 'make life hell for local residents' by holding illegal horse fairs on the land in question, can the leader advise what urgent action he will take to support prosecution of the illegal occupants for contempt of court in the event that the deadline is not complied with AND will he give his support to an article 4 direction to remove any permitted development rights on the land in question to prevent further unlawful activities such as horse fairs at a highly inappropriate single track lane location- actions and safeguards which will encourage residents to move towards an end to their green belt vigil which is now over a 1000 days long