So I’m back. And I’m going to tell you all a story, so go make a cup of tea, pull up a chair and get comfy. This blog does have a point to it and if you keep reading I will get to it at the end!!
‘There was a family who lived very happily in a village for 25 years, after 15 years of living there the father of this family decided to sell their small modest home and buy a piece of land…
You see his daughter was pony mad and he wanted to buy somewhere bigger enough so that she could fulfill her dream of having ponies and competing them.
So he bought some land and with the full go ahead given by the council he invested his life savings into building them a home and some stables for his daughter’s ponies.
For years they lived on the land very happily, then out of nowhere the council came round saying they had changed their mind and didn’t want his family to live on the piece of land he owned anymore.
The council told the family they would have to rip down their home and be on their way.
Can you imagine that?
I can… How? Because it is what is happening to my family right now…
I know what you are all thinking… There must be reasons…
And yep there are – reasons like…
The council have decided they don’t want buildings on the side of the road that my parents have built their log cabin, although they don’t seem to be worried about the pig farm or wind turbine that is just behind and next to us.
Then there is that my father is greedy. Yep… The council, or I should say one very powerful councillor, reckons my dad was greedy for selling his small home in order to buy a bigger home and trying to better himself.
Then there is the main killer reason…
My family’s greater educational and medical needs!!
The council says that their educational and medical needs are so great that the village isn’t coping.
Oh and then they also wrote that we have no idea about the doctors’ appointment systems and we just turn up at the doctors expecting to be pushed in.
Pretty much the same goes for the school, kids are so behind they are draining the school and the ‘other’ parents are angry and don’t understand why our kids are allowed there.
So these reasons were given in order to aid the council in their battle to remove my parents from their home.
And they won… At my parents’ appeal 3 years ago the council won..
My parents lost and were told they were to be evicted from their home pretty much based on those reasons…
And then I got involved.
Whilst all this was going on I was working away and my parents didn’t want to trouble me with their problems!!
It was only when a friend of my parents’ rang me and said she thought I should go home and see my parents that I got wind of all of this.
You see with gypsies it’s often normal to give gypsies a temporary permission to live on a piece of land in case they are trouble. Then when the temporary permission runs out they could be moved on if they were.
My parents had a permanent permission on the small piece of land they sold and were happy having a temporary permission on their new land to start with as they knew they would be no trouble so they were certain they’d be given a permanent permission when they reapplied.
How very wrong were they!! They were given several repeat temporary permissions then the council decided to just remove all permissions, my parents have only built on their land what the council told them they could. Equally there has not been a single complaint made against my family ever, so how does it seem fair that the council can play God with people’s homes and lives?
The first thing I did was ask my parents for all their paperwork for the last 10 years and I was dumbstruck when I was given just a couple of emails from the appeal.
‘Where are all the copies of previous planning applications etc?’ I asked, thinking maybe there was some kind of clause on my parents permission…
Do you know what my parents told me? They told me that the council had filled out all their planning applications and had never once given them a copy of anything!!!
You see, my parents can’t read and write, and the council knew this.
Hence the council filling in all paperwork for my parents, but to never give them a copy of anything?!?!
My poor parents didn’t know they should have had a copy of it, in their words they said ‘we trusted the council’.
It all seemed so dodgy to me that I started to dig…
Oh, and what a tin of worms I opened!!!
First I went to the school, I wanted to know if what the council had written about the gypsy community’s children was true…
Guess what? The head mistress denied ever speaking to the council and said the views expressed by the council were not from or in any way the views of the school.
So on I went to the doctors, guess what? The same response… They said they had never spoken to the council and they were there to serve everyone equally from any ethnic or social background.
They also said they would never speak about peoples’ medical history etc as it would be a breach of patient confidentiality…
The school and doctors said they were happy to have a meeting with the council and me as they would like to get to the bottom of it as well, but when I asked the council they emailed saying they refused to attend a meeting and when I asked their reasons for not wanting to attend a meeting they emailed me saying that they had had a council meeting and had voted to not give me a reason as to why they wouldn’t attend a meeting with the school and doctors!! You couldn’t make it up could you?!
Anyway, I went to the council armed with my findings and letters from the school and doctors denying ever speaking with the council…
I said I wanted to know where and how they had got their information from.. after all, it had helped to make a decision to remove my family from their home…
Nearly 3 years on and I have been threatened with legal action many times (they haven’t as yet despite me saying I was happy for them to carry on and do so), I have been reported to the police, had Councillors try to make me leave meetings, have been followed out of meetings by a Councillor and threatened and have been called a liar in emails (in emails between Councillors I gained through an FOI request, I asked the Councillors to prove I was a liar as it could be seen as libel but they have totally ignored my request!!)
All this is because I won’t drop it, I won’t be fobbed off…
I’m standing up for what I believe in… Oh and in the last 2 months the councils accounts show that getting solicitors to reply to my emails has cost the tax payer just shy of £5000… But they still aren’t able to provide any actual proof ; they have made their claims up. I don’t understand why if they have done nothing wrong why their solicitors need to be so heavily involved??
Everything I have talked about above I have in writing and emails etc as proof.
The gypsy community aren’t a community that are liked, but there are good and bad in all walks of life and my family are good eggs.
But with Councillors going round printing stuff (with, it seems, no actual proof) like they have done about my family and the gypsies in my village it isn’t helping our cause is it?
My cousin said this to me –
They dont treat us like they do everyone else do they? They write what they like about us knowing we can’t read and write and also knowing we can’t do anything and even if we tried to do something who would believe us? Think of what would happen if a male gypsy followed a female councillor out of a meeting threatening her like the councillor did with you.
How could I disagree with him? He is right…
Imagine if an Asian or black family were told by the council they couldn’t remain in their home because their ‘greater educational and medical needs’ were a drain on there local school and doctors?
There would be uproar!!
I was told a long time I’d never win against the council and do you know why I was told I’d never win? It was because I don’t have enough money to fight them…
Is that what it all boils down to?
Not right and wrong…
It’s about who has more money.
But you know what? 3 years on I’m still here and I’m still fighting. My parents’ case goes to a public enquiry in mid Jan, my parents couldn’t really afford it but it was this or lose their home. So I’ve stepped in and I’m paying the bill. Can I afford it? Not really, but I won’t let the council win just because they have more money. Right is right and wrong is wrong…
I have taken some ‘normal people’ to meetings with me and they have been disgusted and shocked at how I’m spoken to by some Councillors.
Am I? Nope… I’m used to it. It’s how they treat us. Gypsies that is… Espically gypsies that ask questions and aren’t frighted to stand their ground no matter how bad they will be painted for doing so.
Do I like the person all this has turned me in to? Not in the least, it has made me mistrusting of ‘normal folk’ and bitter.
I’m forever over-tired and upset from working hard to pay legal bills or writing emails to Councillors but sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe in and I believe in right winning over wrong.
So, the next time you see or hear of caravans pulled into a car park or football pitch remember me and my family because it could well be us soon.
Maybe don’t get angry with those gypsy families; after all, you know they may well have had a home they were happy in and were no trouble to anyone and then along came their local council and are now homeless.
The above is a VERY shortened version of what has happened and gone on, but I would be writing for a week if I tried to write it all down!!
Maybe reread this and think how you would feel if this was your family/parents. Maybe you can understand how I feel. Also, what my poor parents are going through, near retirement age and under threat at being made homeless just because the council have decided their face doesn’t fit anymore. Crazy hey??
But I shall keep fighting as I have let my wonderful parents down so badly by letting them be taken advantage of the way they have been.
Everyone likes a underdog don’t they? But you can’t really be a underdog if you are in the right can you?
Anyways I’ve always liked the name David and the name Goliath is a stupid one I wouldn’t want anyway.
A little saying that I love and which always make think about how the bad guys don’t always look like what you think he will…
“The Devil is real.
And he’s not a red man with horns and a tail.
He can be beautiful.
Because he’s a fallen angel
And he used to be God’s favourite”
Over and out from a maybe soon to be homeless Buckley.