Wells on Sea...no go area!

maureenandtom

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One of the best current sources for background info for local authority powers can be found here ...
One issue that we ofte overlook is how local authorities delegate their own powers. A lot of LA's operate "cabinet" style management where the powers for a specific area of services are oversen and determined by one elected member of the majority party, a lot of decisions are delegated to the cabinet member and/or relevant senior council officer. The ability for decisions to be "called in" to a full Council meeting vary from council to council but can be quite limited.
But back to playing "devil's advocate" , how does the erection of the height barrier contravene the Race Relations Act when it stops all high vehicles using the car park not just those of travellers. Conversely the travellers are just as able to access the car park in a car as any other group. As you say, its only inflammatory in race relation terms because of the statements made at the time. As always the answer returns to providing enough accommodation for travellers whether permanent or transit sites and dealing with unlawful behaviour properly, whoever it is.
Ah yes, devolved powers. Very useful.

Thank you for being devil's advocate. That's always very useful.

If you remember, Karl Read began by using the exact argument you did yourself. (As soon as I read your comment I thought that here we have a retired local authority manager - are you?). Karl said that the council wished to protect the community. "we need to protect our communities and businesses". But when questioned who he wished to protect the community from he admitted it was in response to a series of problems four years ago. "following the bad experience we had from Travellers in 2017" Thus admitting that the council wished to exclude an entire race - not just the criminals among that race. Up to then the council was in the clear.

It would be up to the court to decide .... but I can see no way out for the council now. The council has discriminated against a protected characteristic. Unlawfully. The fact that others (we) have been caught in the net is irrelevant. The council's actions became criminal at that point - subject to the court agreeng with me - but I think a court would. . I can't think of a council admitting racism so openly in the past. I've often suspected it but a council will normally (actually always up to now) say that a barrier or ban is due to motorhomers leaving rubbishe behind them. Freedom of Information questionng always proves a lack of evidence of this and never complaints in any number. I'm surprised Karl made the admissision.

I no longer involve myself in such matters but on this occasion I might just ask Norfolk County Council for minutes of the meeting between council workers and police. that Karl told us of.
 
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maureenandtom

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Actually. On reflection. I do remember one. It was the Huttoft Byelaw banning motohomers from overnighting. The Cabinet Holder, interviewed on television = Councillor Colin Davie - said something like = "I'm going to put a stop to this bunch of freeloaders once and for all". He went on to claim that 200 summonses had been issued., When presented with a copy of the interview the Chief Executive took an immediate interest and only two summonses were actually issued = possibly had been issued before Colin's interview.. One accused pleaded guilty the other was found guilty of breaching the bye=law but that verdict was overturned on appeal with the Judge reprimanding the council for abusing its powers.

I'm not sure if the byelaw is again being enforced but for a few years it still existed but no charges were made using it.

I'll see if I can findt that recording.
 

Val54

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Absolutely agree, Cabinet holders and other Councillors cannot expect to go unchallenged if they make racist or other unsubstantiated claims to justify their actions. I do remember the Huttoft saga as another example.
 

REC

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That's interesting. Thank you. Is it North Norfolk County Council or Wells Town Council?
North Norfolk county council have sent earlier emails....Wells council replied to my email today:

Dear Ruth Cook

The parking situation in Wells is relatively complicated.

With the exception of the large car park owned by North Norfolk District Council the others are all privately owned. The town council has no car parking and has no authority or control over the way the car parks are operated.

Normally the main car park for motor homes is the car park owned by Holkham Estate, which is located at the entrance to the town on Freeman Street. However, due to operational reasons that car park is occasionally closed to vehicles over a certain height; you would need to contact the estate for an explanation.

I have circulated your email to the councillors for their consideration.

Regards

Greg Hewitt
Town Clerk

Wells-next-the-Sea Town Council
Wells Community Hospital
Mill Road
Wells-next-the-Sea
Norfolk
NR23 1RF

01328 710564


Sent: 15 July 2021 17:26
To: clerk@wellstowncouncil.org.uk
Subject: Motorhome parking in Wells next Sea

I attach a copy of a message form sent to North Norfolk council who, I understand are responsible for parking in Wells Next Sea.
I feel that the it is very short sighted to completely exclude motorhomes and vehicles above 2.2m height from visiting your town. I met three other van owners in Burnham market carpark after not being able to park in your town. They all had planned to spend the day, eat and shop in Wells and will now boycott the town.
I suppose you get enough visitors not to be bothered, but why not follow the example of other towns and have a designated area with barrier entry, pay to leave, rather than this lazy ban everyone approach?

Unable to park our motorhome in Wells next Sea due to height barriers, even on the coach carpark. The attendant there informed us they were on "high alert for travellers" and just suggested we drive further to Holkham as Wells does not want us to visit. A very short sighted, lazy and unfair attitude to a large group of people who frequently spend a lot of money in the towns they visit. Why not have an area where the barrier lifts for entry and one pays to get out as in many many towns in Europe. Follow the example of Canterbury in Kent who have a designated area, two nights maximum, pay to enter and is always occupied, keeping the car park secure overnight when normally empty? Or just allow us to park in the coach area? I met several other owners on the site where we are staying and some were already aware of the attitude from Wells so avoided it and a couple of others who said they won't try. The revenue lost to the retailers in the area will continue over winter and at times when the parking may be open in future. We won't risk going and spoiling our planned day out on any other occasions, we will go somewhere that welcomes this fairly large, affluent section of the community.

Your comments would be appreciated, as this is being circulated on motorhome forums who will need to avoid Wells in future.


Interestingly no reference to 2017 travellers influx? This link explains car park arrangements, and no mention of motorhomes just caravans and trailers. No height barrier on Holkham Hall beach car park...in fact the attendant suggested we go there instead of Wells!
 

REC

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Had a forwarded email from someone who the clerk copied in. She complained at the lack of signage warning people of height barriers "which are up more than down" and pointing out the hold ups caused by high vehicles having to turn round in the access road to the car park.
I have replied back and advised that Norfolk seem to blame the travellers incidents of 2017 for the parking restrictions. I suggested alternative options, and asked whether the discrimination against ALL high vehicles ( in order to discriminate against a section) was unwise, even illegal.
Don't expect much joy but my little protest made me feel better.
 

QFour

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We were told last year that the barriers were up because of travelers. We pointed out that there was nothing on their website to warn people about the barriers. Told we could always park in the car park outside town but its a long walk to the beach. I think they are certainly using the travellers as an excuse. They can get more cars in without the MHs parked sideways. Went last week and newly painted barriers. Went into Cromer and no barriers so someone is telling porkies. Nowhere to park in Wells so will cross off our Christmas list. Just not worth the hassle. Where the old pub was is now a car park. £12 a day. Will probably make more out of parking than the out of the pub. Wonder who bought the pub and demolished it.
 
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Millie Master

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I have read through almost all of the responses to this post and can only comment that like in almost all things in life where damnable doo gooders are concerned, they have absolutely zero knowledge of the events in question or indeed the people who are committing them.

If you doubt what I write, I suggest any and all of these doo gooders ought to go and speak to people who live near to the Tolney Lane area of Newark on Trent, Drisney Nook slightly further North or Washingborough near Lincoln and I know what the public and the police will have to say about the vast majority of the tax dodging, law breaking residents who live in them.

I am fortunate to know a lot of people who live in the Northern coastal area of Norfolk and slightly further South in Suffolk and I know how their lives have been made into living hell when certain lawless groups of our community suddenly descend on them.

As an ex resident of France as well as being the owner of 2 sites over there, I know what the instructions were that we received from the Gendarmes and they were just as soon as we started to experience any problems with certain groups, then to give them a call and they would be with us, in force and fully armed and they would be cleared out of the area immediately.
Possibly the UK ought to adopt such prompt practices?
 

maureenandtom

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"as soon as we started to experience any problems with certain groups, then to give them a call and they would be with us, in force and fully armed and they would be cleared out of the area immediately."

Can't disagree with that. In fact almost fully agree. But certain groups have to do something illegal first, yes? Some illegal act causing problems? Until we do something illegal we all, as citizens can come and go as we wish, Is that right? Same for me? Same for you? Same for all?
 

maureenandtom

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"We were instructed to raise the alarm if ANY unwanted people or groups of people decided to impose themselves on your private land"

Great. We're almost in tune. Private Land = Owner's land, owner's rules. In this thread we're talking about local authorities contravening the law but on public land.
 
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Fisherman

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I find reading this thread difficult.
Its plain as the nose on my face, that we are scapegoats for others poor behaviour. Covid has served to highlight were the blame lies, but the barriers and the signs keep coming like some kind of rash out of control. We are blamed for all that’s wrong by people who see themselves as righteous, whilst we are fed to the dogs by a media frenzy that seems to be gathering pace week by week.
Oh I have witnessed some poor behaviour from some of us, but nothing nearly as poor, selfish, and degrading as I have seen from others. Yet those who litter our countryside, damage equipment supplied for their use, and leave human waste were they deposited it barely get a mention. It’s those selfish buggers in their big white vans who are the route of all that’s wrong right now. Now that’s strange because we were here before Covid, but it’s only since Covid that much of what we see now has unfolded.
 

trevskoda

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Just went down to Antrim forum carpark this evening, new barriers for both the new opened complex and to launch your boat at slip, all this was always free but no longer, council have a large caravan/camper park at top end, nice but not for me.
Old pictures first 3, new centre with barriers last. :mad:
 

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Millie Master

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In this thread we're talking about local authorities contravening the law but on public land.

Patently the local authorities are not contravening the law as they are undertaking their legal responsibility to protect the local community, their electorate!

Anyone who knows anything about the Traveller Community will know that in the very vast majority, they are a society who feel they are above the law. My local MP Dr. Caroline Johnson is also a farmers wife and she is heading up a national campaign to try and protect the farming community from these groups of people, who make the lives of farmers almost impossible with thefts of excavators, quad bikes, live stock etc. etc. all running at exceptionally high levels. These same groups are believed to be the main cause for the very significant rise in dog theft and illegal puppy breeding!

On another note, I am assured by a policeman friend that the vast majority of people in these communities will never use the facilities in their own caravans and motorhomes and will all go an defecate wherever they please to go, never clearing up their mess, and this was one of the major problems experienced by the Wells Parish Council and other PC's along the Norfolk Coast, hence the access restrictions.
 

Fisherman

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Patently the local authorities are not contravening the law as they are undertaking their legal responsibility to protect the local community, their electorate!

Anyone who knows anything about the Traveller Community will know that in the very vast majority, they are a society who feel they are above the law. My local MP Dr. Caroline Johnson is also a farmers wife and she is heading up a national campaign to try and protect the farming community from these groups of people, who make the lives of farmers almost impossible with thefts of excavators, quad bikes, live stock etc. etc. all running at exceptionally high levels. These same groups are believed to be the main cause for the very significant rise in dog theft and illegal puppy breeding!

On another note, I am assured by a policeman friend that the vast majority of people in these communities will never use the facilities in their own caravans and motorhomes and will all go an defecate wherever they please to go, never clearing up their mess, and this was one of the major problems experienced by the Wells Parish Council and other PC's along the Norfolk Coast, hence the access restrictions.
I see this the same way as paying for say a B&B but when I turn up I am told that the room is not available to me due to some poor behaviour from a previous guest. The sad reality here is most of us are in the winter of our lives, and we have paid for these carparks through taxation. Most of us are still paying taxes and yet we are being expected to accept such treatment due to the actions of a group of people who rarely pay for anything.
Yes I sympathise with their conundrum, and I agree that action has to be taken, but to in effect ban all in motorhomes whilst doing nothing to mitigate such an action seems totally unjust. And if we are willing to take this on the chin and not complain, this could be used as a template by other councils who plainly are simply anti motorhome. And I reckon that most on here are well acquainted with the travelling community, far more so than the general public. Due to the fact that we are perceived by some to be just like them, and that the actions of some in the travelling community have had a detrimental affect on us also.
 
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Nabsim

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The problem with this country is in general existing powers are not used against the correct people. If someone is terrorising an area why don’t the police and army go in mob handed wielding weapons hitting women and children and lock them up just like they did against the Peace Convoy?
Probably because they would sooner pass the buck and sit and eat donuts til they can find an unsuspecting person somewhere.
I seem to recall going back further the police had no problem going in against gangs of mods and rockers either back in the day.
 

GreggBear

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Damn right Nabsim. The police happily went in mob handed against the convoy, & virtually eradicated it overnight. Their methods & actions were questionable at best, yet in they went anyway. I'm sure that if the same tactics were used against the Irish travellers a similar outcome would occur. The problem is that the gypsy community has been allowed to grow too big & brave due to snowflake protests of their innocence in all matters involving them. Now bolstered by the gypsy & traveller liaison office or whatever it is called, they feel confident enough to ride roughshod over the rules of society, as well as the laws of the land.
Why are they allowed to buy land then live on it unhindered, while we are banned from staying overnight just about anywhere? If you are seen dropping a paper napkin or cigarette end, you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, while the same councils seem happy to spend millions cleaning up after these animals have moved on from everywhere they stay. It's madness at best, & at worst it is an insult to every law abiding member of this once great land.....
 

GreggBear

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They didn't care weather the peace convoy would fight back or not, they went in armed & with riot shields against a group that included women & children. If they knew they wouldn't fight back, why the batons & shields?
 

maureenandtom

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Patently the local authorities are not contravening the law as they are undertaking their legal responsibility to protect the local community, their electorate!

Anyone who knows anything about the Traveller Community will know that in the very vast majority, they are a society who feel they are above the law. My local MP Dr. Caroline Johnson is also a farmers wife and she is heading up a national campaign to try and protect the farming community from these groups of people, who make the lives of farmers almost impossible with thefts of excavators, quad bikes, live stock etc. etc. all running at exceptionally high levels. These same groups are believed to be the main cause for the very significant rise in dog theft and illegal puppy breeding!

On another note, I am assured by a policeman friend that the vast majority of people in these communities will never use the facilities in their own caravans and motorhomes and will all go an defecate wherever they please to go, never clearing up their mess, and this was one of the major problems experienced by the Wells Parish Council and other PC's along the Norfolk Coast, hence the access restrictions.
But this power to protect me is not unlimited. We are indebted to Val54 for his reference to local authority powers. I'd suggest you read them - but you'd not like what you read. https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN05687/SN05687.pdf My thanks to Val54

Paraphrasing. You can't pass a law permitting you to break a law.
2021-07-22_100702.jpg


Discrimination against protected ethnic minorities, in this case Travellers, is forbidden by law.
 

GreggBear

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Yes, but if they break a law they aren't being discriminated against. For example, if someone assaults you, that person should be arrested & prosecuted for assault. Instead, what actually happens is the perpetrator then says "I'm a member of the travelling community" & then gets protected by the same legal system he has just crossed. Summing up, if a man breaks a law, he should be dealt with as a law breaker, & not as a protected minority. If he chooses to go outside the law, he should not then be able to seek protection from prosecution through his status as a protected minority, an unlawful act is just that, irrespective of who it is committed by.....
 

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