Friday, September 23, 2011

#dalefarm : YOU pay for 25 families living on Dale farm !

TAXPAYERS’ cash is being used to pay for families to live at the illegal Dale Farm site.

Basildon Council forks out weekly payments to cover the rent and council tax of 25 families it hopes to remove from the 51-pitch site in Oak Lane, Crays Hill. The eviction has been stalled by a last-minute injunction but the council hopes to get the all-clear to start the operation at the weekend.

A council spokeswoman said the maximum travellers could now claim was £25 a week in housing benefit and £845 a year for council tax.

She added: “People are entitled to make a claim even if the property they are renting does not have planning permission.”

Council leader Tony Ball previously assured the Echo housing benefits payments for mobile homes rented by families on the illegal site had stopped after we exposed the situation two years ago.

However, the council has now confirmed it still pays out 25 claims on the illegal site and a further nine on the legal site which has been virtually unoccupied for months.

Mr Ball said: “I don’t remember saying all claims had stopped, but was advised a number of claims were stopped. If I did say that, it was based on the information I was given at the time and said in good faith.

“Of course if payments are stopped individuals can appeal or new claims be made and I would not necessarily be notified.”

About 15 mobile chalets on the site are rented out by C Jenkin & Son, a company based in West Sussex. more