(…and straight down the drain)
£250, 000 is a lot of money, anyone could tell you that, but when you’re told that such an amount was spent unnecessarily (and without results) by one UK Council, you have to sit up and take extra notice.
That’s exactly what Basildon Council spent, when trying to prevent groups of travellers from trespassing onto Wickford green belt land, in November 2020.
We’ll say it straight away, if they’d have come to #TeamCES, we could have saved them time, a whole of stress, not to mention all that money…
Enforcement notices were issued to travellers living on six patches of land, declaring that they must vacate the land. This was the result of a legal process which cost the Council about £250,000, according to councillor Kerry Smith, who was the Deputy Council leader at the time.
A lot of money, but money well spent if it was successful?
Maybe, except it was unsuccessful, meaning that all that money was pretty much thrown straight down the drain. A Government planning inspector overturned the decision, with the lack of any kind of local plan from the Council, being given as the main deciding factor.
#TeamCES can't decide a Council's local plan, but we can look at a situation like this with the experience and knowledge to make sure ridiculous sums of money aren't wasted in a process that will ultimately fail.
Our success rate with traveller evictions is second to none, and it’s all down to the relationships we build, as opposed to the money our clients spend.
For private landowners or UK Councils, when working out a plan of action for traveller eviction, speaking to #TeamCES should always be the first port of call.
As for Basildon Council spending £250,000 for a piece of paper they couldn’t use, well, it just didn’t need to happen.