Filling in the gaps…

Hey everyone..

So after the last blog lots of people have been asking questions about mine and my parents treatment by the council.
I think I cover my parents treatment fairly well (without boring everyone senseless!!) in the last blog but I thought I give you all a few details of my dealings with the council.

So pull up a comfy chair, maybe even get some popcorn and get yourself prepared as this will be a long one!!

As I said before all this started after I asked for copies of all my parents planning applications etc.
All I received were a few documents from my parents appeal, in these documents there was a copy of a email titled ‘Easton & Cook’ now the content of this email is what really got me going..
In this email written by a councillor who I’d like to add is not only on our parish council but is also the leader of our district council, he talked about the gypsy community’s greater educational and medical needs being a drain etc..
So not to bore you all to much below is just 1 page of the 3 page ‘Easton & Cook’ email..

image

This email was given to another councillor on the morning of my parents appeal, he was told to read it out on behalf of and as part of the council, he said he was so disgusted at the content he wouldn’t read it as he feared that if he read it out aloud the appeal officer would think he agreed with its content.
So he handed the email, even thou on the email it said ‘these notes are confidential and should not be given away if they ask for the speech!’ he told the appeal officer he wouldn’t read it as he didn’t agree with the content.

As soon as I got my hands on it and read it thou I was shocked to say the least, so I went to the next public parish council meeting that was just a few days later.. With me came my cousin, she was born and raised in the village and now has 2 children at the local school.
She wanted to come as she was concerned that her children were being bullied at the school and she was worried they weren’t being treated like the other children because they weren’t wanted at the school.
I had printed off a copy of that years Ofsted school report that basically dis agreed with every claim the council made.

When it was my 3 mins to talk I stood up and started handing each councillor a copy of the Easton & Cook email..
Guess what happened next?

Once I got to the councillor who had written it and he saw what I was handing out he stood up and told us we had to leave, he even stood there shouting at us to stop handing it out..
I stood my ground, why should we leave? Or why should I stop handing out copies of an email written by a councillor on behalf of the council who’s meeting I was attending..
When we wouldn’t leave the chairman decided to close the whole meeting rather than give me my 3 mins to talk.
My cousin was horrified and couldn’t believe the way they reacted at just being given back there own email.

And in the minutes of that meeting guess who got the blame for disrupting the meeting and causing it to end? Yep it was me!!!

So I decided I was going to struggle to do this alone and contacted a local organisation that helped ethnic groups that felt they were suffering from discrimination.
The guy who was given the job as acting as my advocate was fantastic, he even came to meetings with me and helped me draw up (we all know how terrible my grammar and spelling is!!) a list of questions I wanted answering regrading the content of the Easton & Cook email.
So we sent the questions in to the council, I awaited there response with batted breath and guess what response I got?
It just said that answering my questions wasn’t a good use of there time!!!

My advocate was not taking that lying down!! He stood my ground for me and said they had a duty to responded fully to my questions..
After months of pushing the council for answers he received a email from the councillor who wrote the Easton and Cook email (don’t forget this councillor is also the leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council) saying if we didn’t back off he was going to sue me for slander and deformation of character.
The councillor claimed I had made accusations about him at a meeting 18months before and he felt he had no choice but to now take action.
My advocate rang me straight away and informed me of what was going on, he asked me if I had said what I was being accused of saying.
I said of course I hadn’t and if I had why had the councillor left it 18months to do anything about it?!
So he in a fancy way just basically emailed the councillor back saying he had spoken to me and I had said I was happy for the councillor to kick on and sue me.
We must have had 4/5 more emails saying he was going to go ahead and do it.. Although nearly 2 years on his solicitors don’t seem to have got round to doing it..
But in one of those emails the councillor asked my advocate if his organisation received any funding from the council.
My advocate confirmed they did..

Not long after my advocate stopped replying to my emails and stopped getting in touch and I haven’t heard from them/him since.

Make of that what you will…..

18 months after I first sent those questions in I finally got them answered, well when I say answered I mean the council pretty much either worked around my questions not answering them or just told me they no longer held the information I had asked for.

I asked for weeks and weeks for copies of some documents I knew the council had but I believed were withholding from me.. The response they sent to me was that all copies of those documents had been deleted from EVERY council and each councillors computers so they no longer had any copies of the documents but guess what happened then..

I managed together my hands of copies of the ‘deleted’ documents..

I informed the council that I’d managed to get copies of the deleted documents and they shouldn’t worry about trying to find them for me anymore and within a matter of days they contacted me to say that low and behold they had managed to ‘find’ copies too!!!

Then I did a FOI and Subject Assess request and found out lots of wonderful things were being emailed around about me between Councillors..

Like the leader of South Cambs District Council email the gypsy liaison officer telling her I was causing trouble and to not speak to me and that he had a winnable court case against me but I had no money is there was no point in suing me!!
Then there was the councillor who emailed saying I was using lies, slander and was harassing the parish council and Councillors to get my own way.
I emailed asking those Councillors to prove what they were writing about he, guess what???
Yep you guessed it – they have just ignored me and my emails..

At a public meeting a couple of months ago the leader of South Cambs District Council followed me out of the meeting whilst I was on my own and said he nor the council would ever help me because of how badly I had treated the council!!!!!!!!!
I went back in to the meeting and complained to the clerk at being followed out on such a threatening manner.
I emailed a complaint about it a few days later and guess what?
Yep.. It was totally ignored too..

The latest email I got from the council justified what has been written about me because my many visits to the council offices, meetings and phone calls to parish office are causing the Councillors stress.. What about me? What about my sleepless nights? All the days I’ve been so miserable and tired I’ve just cried to myself?
I don’t have thousands of tax payers money to send on solicitors nor do I have people to talk to about this.
I did point out to them that maybe if they hadn’t ignored me for pretty much the first 18 months maybe I wouldn’t  have kept emailing, visiting the offices or calling them.
What was I meant to do? Just give up and disappear?
Sorry but if they thought that was going to happen they were greatly mistaken!!

The council have even printed stuff about my community in our local Cambridgeshire news paper.. Including things like that we cause so much trouble in the village it’s spills out on to the streets of our village..
I asked them for police reports etc supporting that article..
Guess what? Yep they haven’t supplied them either.

I have re read thou a load of my emails from the beginning and I sometimes cringe at how angry I come across in them but then again I was angry!!
Not once am I threatening and I stand by each and every email I have written. Bad grammar and all!!!
I do believe the council and Councillors are discriminating against gypsies.. No where can I find were the council have used any other ethic groups educational or medical needs as a reason to either stop them from moving in to the village, from having a extension on there house etc.. I have asked the council if they have but they ‘don’t hold that information’

This blog only touches on a quarter of what I have been out thou or have had said about me..
All this because I just want proof of what they have said about us, is that to much to ask?

I fight like mad to make my community trust and respect non gypsies more but gypsies live by one tradition more than any other – you treat people how you want to be treated and can I say hand on heart the gypsies from my village have been treated with respect?

NO is the answer..

Everything I have talked about in this blog I have in black and white and am happy to share with anyone.

So my battle continues…
I won’t give up but it’s been a long hard battle till now and it doesn’t look like getting any easier…

The last paragraph in the the latest letter from the council said this
‘they did not feel they had to responded to any further correspondents from me because what’s done is done’

Good job I’m a fighter hey???

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6 thoughts on “Filling in the gaps…

  1. Liz Brennan November 6, 2015 / 7:51 am

    Hi Phoebe, based on the information you have put up I am shocked and disgusted at the treatment of you and your family. Have you contacted your local MP Heidi Allen? She should know what about the discrimination taking place in her patch, the government are making much of their new Planning and Housing Bill, ask her how it will help traveller families! I wish I knew what to advise, all this is happening under our noses. Again the new growth areas round Cambridge will bring big developments, what is there for traveller families?

  2. Liz Brennan November 6, 2015 / 7:56 am

    Phoebe have you contacted your MP Heidi Allen?
    She should know the discrimination happening in her patch – it’s shocking!

  3. Dom April 4, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    Hey there, I’d just like to say thank you for being so vocal and open about your struggle. For Gypsies to receive equality in planning applications we will need to endure the indignity of having these cases exposed as publicly as possible. I, personally find this very intrusive,unfair and gruelling but EVENTUALLY this method will work.
    Keep going,keep fighting and keep your chin up. Know that your example will be watched and followed by many others(no pressure huh).
    Kushti bokt to you and yours

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