Thursday, September 28, 2023

Act now to stop Dale Farm in Thurrock urges Tories

THURROCK Council must act now, or else a traveller site in Corringham could be the next Dale Farm say the Thurrock Conservatives

Earlier this month, travellers illegally pitched up near the Five Bells roundabout in Corringham. The council has to go to court to try and remove them.

Conservative councillor for Corringham and Fobbing, cllr Mark Coxshall said: “We do not want travellers illegally settling in Corringham. The council has made a real mess of this by not nipping the issue in the bud. Now they have to go to court to try and remove them, and that could take forever – has the council learnt nothing from Dale Farm?

“We all know how this goes. The travellers are already starting to bed in for a long stay, arranging things like permanent power and water. Soon they will probably start building walls and fences.

“Travellers need to comply with the law like everyone else, if everyone built property wherever they fancied, there would be anarchy with buildings popping up on any available piece of land. The law needs to apply to equally to all, so I call on Labour led Thurrock Council to stop picking and choosing who they enforce against and show that they are one the side of hard working residents who do the right thing.

“The travellers should do as their name suggest – travel; if they want to settle, they should go the same route as anyone else, buy a house or rent one.”

Conservative Councillor for Homesteads, Cllr James Halden said “I have repeatedly said to the council to seek advice from the Conservative administration on Basildon council who took a very courageous stand against the illegal traveller site at Dale Farm. We must avoid this happening in Thurrock.

Despite do-gooders such as a local Labour MEP, most people agree that taking action against Dale Farm was the right thing to do; my constituents need to pay their tax and obey the law, we can’t tolerate those who won’t!”

A spokesperson for Thurrock Council said: “This issue is being dealt with as an unauthorised change of use of the land and normal planning procedures are being followed.

“The council is talking to local councillors and to others who have contacted it, to assure them that this case is being dealt with under planning legislation.

“It will, however, take some time to resolve.”


  1. I cannot agree more with both cllrs.

    The problem is that travellers are a minority, and if they bother voting, it will be for the Labour party, so Labour have to be careful here.

    Remeber they are the party for the ‘oppressed’.

  2. Cllr Coxshall is a friend to Thurrock’s Gypsies and Travellers – or has he forgotten exactly what he voted for in the Local Development Framework?

  3. Don’t you just love Cllr Coxshall – nobody realised that the owners of the land were converting it into permanent pitches until fairly recently – If Cllr Coxshall actually resided in his ward perhaps he would have realised a bit sooner this was happening and Thurrock Council could have acted sooner.

    Just what legislation would Cllr Coxshall to take regarding this unauthorised development – it is a planning issue so planning law takes precedence – unless Cllr Coxshall can quote what legislation Thurrock Council should be using – afraid you can’t just send in the bulldozers.

    Isn’t it strange that some illegal developments make Conservative Councillors froth at the mouth and issue vitriolic press releases.

    Compare this to the absolute silence of Conservative Councillors to those well known Conservative Party donors ICG Chemicals who operated an illegal and unauthorised lorry park in West Thurrock for years with no enforcement action by the Conservative controlled Thurrock Council or that Thurrock Conservatives had their offices in a building that had no planning permission in the Titan Works also owned by ICG Chemicals and whose use was declared as a donation to the local Conservatives.

    One rule for Conservative Party donors….

    …perhaps the travellers should make a few donations to the Conservatives and give a few free holidays to a few members of the Planning Committee?

  4. Ed you are absolutely right, but the sad thing is the right minded person who tries to point this out to the Thurrock Tory Group or Thurrock councils legal department they just try and discredit that person so in my opinion you must question how many people are in this cover up and further more what are the perks they are receiving ?

  5. I’m sure Thurrock Council carried out a full investigation and nothing untoward was found.

    On a seperate issue – if I sold whitewash I would make a fortune in Thurrock.

    Now back to the main issue.

    Cllr Coxshall may spew forth bile but he and Thurrock Conservatives have been very generous to the traveller/gypsy community in Thurrock.

    When the Conservatives controlled Thurrock Council they vocally campaigned against any extra traveller or Gypsy pitches in Thurrock – even going as far as taking the previous Labour Government to Court to stop plans for extra pitches – but behind the scenes they were drafting the Local Development Framework that included the very generous provisions to build an additional 87 pitches over the next 9 years. 9a pitch can hold 3 or 4 caravans or a couple of mobile homes).

    So how did Thurrock Conservatives vote – did a single one of them while drafting the Local Development Framework, while it worked its way through the various working groups call for no more traveller/gypsy pitches in Thurrock?

    After all Thurrock Conservatives took the then Labour Government to Court, issued enough leaflets against more traveller and gypsy pitches in Thurrock during their election campaigns and made enough press statements on the issue.

    Every single Conservative voted for an additional 87 pitches to be built over the next 9 years when at a Special Meeting of the Council held on 21 December 2011, Thurrock Council formally adopted the “Core Strategy” of Thurrock’s Local Development Framework.

    So Cllr Coxshalls vocal public vitriol against travellers should be compared to how he and all his fellow Conservative Councillors voted to increase traveller and gypsy pitches by a further 87 in Thurrock.

    I agree that illegal developments in the Green Belt should not be permitted and people should go through the proper planning channels. So I can’t fault Cllr Coxshall on this issue – but I would question the language he has used – it would appear he learned nothing from his compulsory equalities and diversity training.

    However – Thurrock has 18 unauthorised Traveller/Gypsy pitches already – why isn’t Cllr Coxshall demanding Thurrock Council take action against these illegal and unauthorised developments as well? Or could it be that Cllr Coxshall voted that these illegal developments should be tolerated and regularised – he did – it is in the Local Development Framework that he voted for.

    So yet again Cllr Coxshalls vocal public vitriol against travellers should be compared to how he and his fellow Conservative Councillors have all voted to tolerate and regularise 18 unauthorised traveller and gypsy pitches in Thurrock.

    But we should all be used to the hypocrisy of politicians by now.

    Thurrock Conservatives having vocally campaigned against any development in the Green Belt and having made it the main plank of their recent local election campaigns over the past decade yet they have voted for 15% of new houses (2775 homes) to be built on Thurrocks Green Belt.

    They also voted for an additional 4750 dwellings above the 18500 already agreed to be located in the borough – so although the Local Development Framework plan identifies where 18500 homes go – it also prepares the way for an additional 4750 homes to be built – so at least 23250 homes will be built over the next 14 years.

    As for defending the Green Belt the Conservatives voted for it to be Thurrock Council policy to “continue to identify further sites within the Green Belt to allocate for residential development” and for “building to continue on the Green Belt where appropriate.”

    I haven’t plucked the above information from thin air or made it up – it’s in the document that the Borough’s Councillors voted for in December 2011.

  6. I heard through the tory hotline even basildon councillors saw through coxswall a few years back.They knew all to well electing this person would cause internal mayhem and damage to them, so they didn’t select him for a essex county council seat. What did Thurrock Tories do ?, and the rest is history. Most of all since his pewtred appearance into local politics Thurrock Tories have become a disaster. Even internal sources recently mentioned its like revisiting the classic film the ipcress file.


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