The leader of Basildon Council, Cllr Tony Ball, has justified sending in riot police by making the shocking claim that, if provoked, travellers at Dale Farm could tarmac driveways locally 'within 45 minutes'.
The 45 minute claim lies at the centre of a row between Basildon Council and the BBC. BBC correspondent Andrew Gilligan filed a report for BBC Radio 4's Today programme in which he stated that an unnamed Basildon Council source had told him that the September dossier on Dale Farm had been 'sexed up'.
The Dale Farm travellers have refused access to Highways Agency macadam inspectors since August this year, and the following month Basildon Council produced the infamous September dossier.
Essex Police have insisted that the contents of the dossier justify riot police intervention, even without a further Daily Mail headline of Pikeys Out!, a stance backed by Cllr Ball.
Neighbouring Kent Police, smelling vaguely of garlic, questioned Essex Police going into Dale Farm without what they describe as an 'exit strategy'. At a joint press conference Chief Inspector Jack Sherack asked "What do you plan to do with Dale Farm once you have cleared the travellers off the site?"
Cllr Ball replied: "Tarmac it."