THURROCK UKIP bosses have slammed the Tory leader of Thurrock Council for not supporting their call for unauthorised pitching by travellers to be made a criminal offence.
This has been a long held view by UKIP but in an article in the Thurrock Gazette, cllr Gledhill said: "I do not think criminalising someone’s way of life is the best way to go about it".
UKIP Thurrock Deputy Leader, Cllr Roy Jones said: "When it was pointed out to me that Thurrock Council Leader Rob Gledhill stated that we should not ‘criminalising someone’s way of life’ I was absolutely astonished after what I had seen this past week.
"I am outraged that Cllr Gledhill believes we should not fine travellers for illegal activities as it is ‘their way of life’.
"For the last two months he has taken every opportunity to say Thurrock residents should face the maximum fines for littering and fly tipping but now travellers committing illegal acts shouldn’t pay a penny. Cllr Gledhill clearly does not understand that you cannot have one law for some and another law for others. This is fundamental to democracy and the rule of law.
"Thurrock residents have been told they should pay twice over. Not only should they pay for the clean up of this unauthorised event but they should give up part of their weekend’s rest to clean up the mess themselves. The only people who should be out there tidying up is the travellers who ruined Corringham and Councillors like Rob Gledhill who think they shouldn’t be fined.
"He has attacked the police for not dealing with the situation while his party has cut our police force and he has his friend Roger Hirst as Police and Crime Commissioner in Essex.
"If the Government had given us the powers we requested last year to instantly move on illegal traveller sites we could dealt with this issue last Monday and sent the advance party away. Instead the Conservatives believe we should wait ten working days and this meant we were unable to do anything."