Travellers facing eviction from a United Kingdom settlement, dubbed ‘Europe’s largest illegal gypsy site,’ will meet with Council of Europe officials next month.
A three person delegation from the advisory committee of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), will visit the Dale Farm site in Crays Hill during a visit to the country between 6 and 11 March.
“We are collecting facts and the views of people,” said a FCNM spokeswoman. “Dale Farm has been the centre of disputes for quite some time. We are monitoring the implementation of the framework convention. The views of the committee will be made known to the authorities in June.”
It is understood that some 86 families live on the site without planning permission. Basildon Borough Council is expected to vote next month on the future of the settlement.
The United Kingdom is a signatory to the FCNM and its compliance with the convention was last monitored in 2007.
Next month, the delegation will visit London, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast during the five day visit and report its findings next July to government authorities.
Treaty: Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
Report: 2007 Opinion on the United Kingdom
Information: Advisory Committee on the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities
Webfile: Fostering diversity - when equality matches variety
News: Dale Farm gypsies hopes turn to European delegation