12:22PM, Friday 17 May 2019
A row has broken out between the council and residents over a plot of land in Turton Way, Chalvey.
Reports were made on Twitter on Monday that bailiffs, under the supervision of Slough Borough Council (SBC), had arrived in the early hours of the morning to remove vehicles from a piece of council-owned land.
Accusations were raised that force was used against residents as the council tried to gain access.
Shiv Kamboj, a resident of Turton Way for more than 30 years, said: “I asked them ‘why are you doing this?’ and asked them if they had a court order but they had no answer. I was then pushed over and they moved my car by force.
“People were crying but nobody was listening.”
A picture of the pensioner in a hospital bed was shared by Twitter user AdillStill following the incident on Monday.
But an SBC spokeswoman maintained ‘no force was used against any person’ and said Mr Kamboj was ‘removed from the road for his own safety’. She added no complaints were made by police, who were assisting bailiffs at the time.
The issue relates to a former garage site, which was demolished in 2017, with residents using the vacant space to park their vehicles.
The council said the land belongs to it and that ‘as landowners, we have the right to take possession of the land and remove any trespass’.
A video was also shared of a man in a high visibility jacket swearing at residents. SBC said ‘this was not a bailiff or a representative of the council’ and that the man was a subcontractor of the builder supplying a gate.
“His behaviour was raised with his supervisor at the time and he was removed from duties involving residents,” the council added.
The SBC spokeswoman said in a full statement: “Since demolition several local residents have assumed this area as one for parking – however this was never the intention for this land, which has always been earmarked for housing.
“In January we wrote to all residents explaining that we would be beginning work on the site to provide much needed council housing for people on the housing register.
“Unfortunately several residents have refused to move off the land – despite us removing parking restrictions in Turton Way so residents can continue to park – so this morning [Monday] we took action to remove the vehicles and secure our land.
“To help us with this action and to ensure no breach of the peace, the work was undertaken by bailiffs under our supervision and with the on site support of the police.
“We undertook the work at night to ensure there would be no disruption during peak times and to attempt to avoid conflict.
“Unfortunately when we have tried to undertake this work at a more reasonable time, residents have placed their children, elderly relatives and other obstructions to ensure we could not access the site.
“This issue has continued for many months and was holding up our ability to build new council homes for local people.
“Our officers have suffered from verbal abuse and threats to themselves and their families because of this which is not acceptable.
“Police and bailiffs were on site to ensure there was no breach of the peace.”
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