REPRESENTATIVES OF the Irish Traveller community are set to file a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as well as Thurrock Council after comments made by a Conservative Corringham councillor over a gypsy-traveller site.
Councillor for Corringham and Fobbing, Mark Coxshall, made a statement, after Thurrock Council refused to grant the site, near to the Five Bells roundabout, planning permission.
Conservative councillor for Corringham Cllr Mark Coxshall said: “The council has made a real mess of this by not nipping the issue in the bud at the start..but this is not going to be a quick conclusion to the issue, as I am sure this will go to appeal.
“The travellers are already starting to bed in for a long stay; they have permanent power and water. We all know what happens next, they start building walls and fences and we end up with a section of Stanford that looks like a cross between My Big Fat Gypsy Cesspit and Shameless.”
But the comments have deeply upset the Irish Traveller’s Movement in Britain (ITMB).
The ITMB is a national second tier community development charity working to raise the capacity and social inclusion of the Irish Traveller community in Britain.
A spokesperson for the ITMB told YT that they are set to make a complaint to the ECHR as well as Thurrock Council as they believed that the comments may have breached the councillor’s code.
A spokesman said: “The traveller family in Corringham had a right to apply for planning permission in retrospect and they have a right to appeal if they wish. They have the same rights to engage with the planning system as anyone else.
“But whatever the merit of this particular case, Cllr Coxshall’s and Thurrock Conservative group’s outrageous comments about the application betrays the prejudice behind their opposition.
“To assume a traveller family will inevitably behave in stereotypical way depicted on a controversial gypsy reality show is racism, pure and simple.”