Necessity Still Breeds Ingenuity - Archive of SQUALL MAGAZINE 1992-2006

News Shorts And Other Busyness

Hulme Travellers Fight on

Squall 11, Autumn 1995, pg. 7.

Travellers in Hulme, Manchester appear to be winning their campaign against eviction.

Although there has been no official climb-down by Manchester City Council Department of Land and Property or Hulme Housing Office, the travellers have been informed by the tenants association that Land and Property are not prepared to risk confrontation in the face of strong opposition from local residents.

It is expected that the travellers will now be allowed to remain until the street they live in, Otterburn Close, is demolished next spring/summer.

The decision is believed to have been made after a sympathetic television report on BBC local news drew attention to the unanimous support of residents and the impossibility of the travellers finding alternative sites. In the report the chair of M.C.C. Housing Committee, Councillor Lunts, admitted to the real reason for the evictions, not mentioning the alleged “neighbourhood complaints” which were supposedly the justification for the evictions. He said: “The area is going to be demolished next year anyway, and we would rather move them out sooner rather than later.”

The statement revealed the Council’s true attitude towards the lives and homes of travellers, ie that they are worth less than some bureaucratic convenience.

In an ironic footnote to the campaign, Manchester Freedom Network invited representatives of the Housing Department to come to the Close to meet the travellers and discuss alternatives to the evictions. Hulme Housing Office replied by threatening to evict MFN from their office in a squatted flat!