Nine new No Cold Calling Zones launched in Norwich

Residents of Norwich-based sheltered housing schemes will have more comfort in their own homes when nine new No Cold Calling Zones were launched by Norfolk County Council Trading Standards on Tuesday January 22.

The zones take the total number of zones in the county to fourteen - and will be located at Fellowes Close, Custance Court, Silkfields, Meadowsweet, Ryrie Court, Millers Lane, Stone Road, Alfred Nichols Court and Seabrook Court.

Signs have been erected in these locations, to warn potential uninvited door-to-door callers that they are not welcome - with residents given information for their homes to help them to fully deal with any caller who ignores the warnings.

The County Council's Head of Trading Standards, David Collinson, will be launching all the schemes at 11.30am at Fellowes Close, Earlham - meeting residents and representatives of the various housing schemes.

David Collinson, Head of Norfolk County Council Trading Standards, said: "Research done with over 9000 consumers by the Trading Standards Institute showed that 96% of respondents do not want cold calling - something which is often used as a smokescreen for con men and criminals who prey on vulnerable households - particularly older people.

"No Cold Calling Zones support residents' ability and confidence to say no to unwanted cold callers and have been proven to reduce crime and ultimately provide an increased feeling of security for residents.

"The zones also provide Trading Standards with valuable information about traders operating in the area, which aids effective enforcement against doorstop crime."

In order for Trading Standards to support a location to become a No Cold Calling Zone, it has to meet a number of criteria.

These include the history of cold calling there, the number of incidents reported to Trading Standards and the Police, the residents' vulnerability, and the support of the local city, town or parish council all taken into consideration.

So, Fohki, you have been told. Don't get lawed, get wise. As I have told you all in the article “No Cold Calling Areas”, you don't go and call at the door; you leaflet. You all have cell phones (mobiles) nowadays, I am sure. And, for o Del's sake, don't sham for a change. Give a proper day's work for a proper day's lova. Don't ask £1,000 for a £100 job. That's how you ruin it for everybody.

Michael Smith (Veshengro), January 2008

Gypsy site

PLANS to build a new gypsy and traveller site in Allerdale have taken a step forward this week.

Allerdale Council’s watchdog, the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee, has said they are happy with a new strategy to combat prejudice against gypsies who move to the area.

The strategy, which has been drafted to comply with the Race Relations Act, aims to understand and raise awareness of the needs and culture of gypsies and travellers in the area.

It will look at reducing prejudice and enhancing accommodation, education and employment issues.

This is the first step in the process that will continue over the next few years.

About 40 gypsy and traveller camps are set up in Allerdale every year, but this year the number has increased.

Because there are no authorised sites it often results in the need for legal intervention.

All districts in Cumbria are having research carried out to identify the need for named sites.

The results should be ready by the end of February and then the process of identifying potential sites and bidding for Government money will begin.

Kim Suttle, Allerdale’s housing services manager, said at the moment the council has difficulty with gypsies and travellers because they don’t provide any sites where they can go.

Councillor Barbara Cannon said: “I think the strategy itself is fine and is well overdue.”

In April 2006 plans to create a permanent site in Workington or Maryport were put on hold following strong opposition from residents.

Four sites were earmarked in Workington – the former tannery on the A594, land south of Siddick, land at Oldside and a site south of John Pier pumping station.

In Maryport the three potential sites were land south of the harbour, a site at Ellenborough Place and one at the Glasson Industrial Estate.

The strategy will eventually go before full council.

Editorial Comment:

Oh, here we go again... Gypsy site placed on an Industrial Estate, probably like the site at Earlsfield near Wimbledon, London, where it is right next to the cement works. Ever so healthy. If it is not near such a place then it is right next to sewerage plants, refuse tips, and such places. I guess all but those that are entirely blind can see the pattern. The Gypsy, that is us, the Rom, are seen as nothing more than rubbish.

Michael Smith (Veshengro), January 2008

Gypsies 'could be forced onto streets'

A group of Romany Gypsies could be forced onto the streets if they are not permitted to live in caravans at their parents' home it was claimed at an appeal hearing yesterday.

The site at Woodview, Leys Lane, Attleborough, belongs to Adam and Abronica Jones who were given permission to build a bungalow on the land.

Some of the couple's adult children are now living in caravans in the grounds with their families, without planning consent. An application to regularise the situation, retain four static caravans, and bring in two more to replace existing touring caravans was rejected by Breckland Council in February last year, and Mrs Jones lodged an appeal.

The site is outside the main settlement area and Viv Bebbington, senior development control officer, said the council accepted Mr and Mrs Jones met the criteria that enables an exception to planning policy, as they had led a travelling lifestyle. "The council's view is that not all the people living on the site fall within the specification of Gypsy. They need to justify the need for the exception to be made," she explained. However, the Jones's daughter Charmaine told the hearing they had travelled across the country and might be away from home for three or four months at a time.

Breckland Council has a shortage of Gypsy and Traveller sites, and resident Gary Hamer, who owns land next to Mr and Mrs Jones, said he was considering developing his property for the purpose. "If this application is successful then my plan, after speaking to my solicitor, is to go to the council to open up the whole woods as a transit site. We have worked out there should be enough to get 75 plots on that site."

Planning inspector Dennis Bradley, who conducted the hearing, expects to announce his decision in about a month.

Editorial Comment:

And where are all the big mouths now, such as Puxon, et al, who are very quick on the ball when it comes to Irish Travellers and when they want them to be seen as “ethnic Gypsies” - God forbid – but when it comes to bona fide Romanichals who are settled in one place proper and who just wish their grownup offspring to remain with them in the same place they can nowhere to be found. Well, neither were they anywhere around when Susie King needed help in Leatherhead. Only good the local Gohjas wanted her and the chavies to atch where they are.

Can we see the pattern now, everyone... a quote from the council man... The council's view is that not all the people living on the site fall within the specification of Gypsy... that means that this authority has decided that if you are a Rom and settled you are NO LONGER an ethnic Gypsy and therefore no longer have recourse to the rights. Dordi!

Michael Smith (Veshengro), January 2008

The Road Back – Book Review

The Road Back
A Romany Story
William Lee (author)

Minerva Press 1999
115 pages, paperback, 8”x5.75”
Available only direct from the author
Price: 8 GBP

The Road Back” is the sequel to “Dark Blood” by the same author and we all know, I am sure, whether with books or with movies, that sequels all too often are nowhere as good as the first one. “The Road Back” is here one of the few exceptions, as it is indeed as good as “Dark Blood” and the story is as fast moving and gripping as the first book.

In “The Road Back” we find Cornelius Lee having escaped from prison and beginning a rather epic journey back to Kent; a journey that will, ultimately, change his life.

Cornelius is still wanting to get even, as he might see it, with Ethan as is set to fight him again for May.

As the same time as Cornelius is on the way back to Kent, Ethan and may are also on a journey, back to Tattlebury, not realizing that they soon will encounter Cornelius again.

There is one extremely hilarious, to me at least, passage in the book, and that is where May is trying to learn to drive the new lorry. I laughed tears reading this as the very description reminded me of my dear blessed Deia learning to drive a motor.

This is all I shall give as a small synopsis of the story in the book as I do not wish to spoil it for the reader.

William Lee is a storyteller par excellence and he may even surpassed himself here.

All I can say is “
Thank You, Uncle Bill, for sharing this story with us all and I hope for many more to come”.

And now folks, go and buy the two books. You will not regret it.

To order this book send a cheque of £8 (in the UK) (Overseas please inquire cost and rates for shipping from the author) to:

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro), January 2008

Concern over Traveller sites

MOVES to take decisions on providing Gypsy and and Traveller pitches out of local control are causing concern.

The number of pitches needed in Hertfordshire will total more than 176 by 2011 according to proposals which are due to get the green light next week.

The proposals have caused a stir with county and local councillors, and have been labelled as "rough-shod riding".

On Monday Hertford and Stortford MP Mark Prisk challenged the government to "make a statement on the provision of sites for Travellers and Gypsies in Hertfordshire."

Iain Wright MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government, said: "The Government recognise the need to address the on-going shortfall in permanent and transit sites for Gypsies and Travellers."

He added: "The East of England regional assembly is preparing an alteration to the regional spatial strategy for the East of England, which we understand is due to be approved by the assembly on January 25.

"This alteration will determine how many pitches will be required for gypsies and travellers in the region. The current draft suggests the need for 1,187 pitches by 2011, 176 of which are in Hertfordshire."

Councillor Peter Ruffles (Conservatives, St Andrews) said: "Pitches in Hertfordshire have been well managed in my experience, for a good many years. My problem comes when people claim that special cases for Gypsy sites over-ride the existing planning policy controls which quite rightly limit the development of homes for others."

He added: "176 sites cannot possibly be introduced into Hertfordshire under these terms, so I oppose the rough-shod riding of the East of England Assembly."

Derrick Ashley, executive member for planning, external relations and waste, criticised planning decisions being taken at a regional level.

He said: "All planning is now in the hands of the regional assembly, what I would describe as a 'semi democratic quango' but this is due to pass into the hands of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), which is a non-democratic quango.

"The whole move is away from local decision-making.”

Editorial Comment:

The truth is that, it would appear, the Gypsy Site provision must be taken out of the hand of local authorities and ideally placed into the hands of a body that will cover the whole of the country so as to make for evenhanded work. There is, yes, surely, a need for locals to be able to voice their opinion but this cannot and must not be on the grounds of reasons that are normally given such as “the presence of Gypsies makes the value of the houses decrease” and “crime will increase”, and such. That is, when it comes to Gypsies proper, that is to say, the Romani, nothing but racism. It could be said that in the cases of other itinerants the fears often are well founded.

MVS January 2008

Grant should address Gypsy and Traveller housing too

The Building & Social Housing Foundation today called on the Government to address the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers in the new Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG).

The Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) has been consulting on proposals for the allocation mechanism for the new £510m Grant, but BSHF has responded, noting that it makes no attempt to address the very serious housing needs of Gypsies and Travellers.

According to research highlighted in BSHF’s 2007 report into the housing situation of Gypsies and Travellers, twenty-one per cent of all Gypsies and Travellers living in caravans are legally and practically homeless, having no lawful place to park.

However, less than one square mile of land in the whole of England would be sufficient to provide pitches for all Gypsy and Traveller families who are currently homeless.

The report also found that Gypsies and Travellers experience the worst health and education status of any disadvantaged group in England with 18 per cent of Gypsy and Traveller mothers experiencing the death of a child, compared to one per cent in the settled community.

It also found that Gypsy and Traveller children have significantly lower educational achievements.

Although Gypsies and Travellers are legally recognised as ethnic groups, racist attitudes towards them are still common.

This has been a major factor in the current under-provision of suitable authorised sites and the high number of unauthorised encampments, with all the tensions this can create with neighbouring communities.

Jim Vine, Housing Policy Analyst for BSHF, said: “Last year our report called for urgent increases in the provision of authorised sites for Gypsies and Travellers; the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant is one tool that could help to make that happen.

“The stated aim of the Grant is to incentivise improved housing delivery, including more effective planning, and nowhere is this more needed than housing for Gypsies and Travellers.”

He added: “Under-provision of appropriate authorised sites causes problems for the travelling and settled communities alike.

“If there are insufficient pitches on authorised sites Gypsies and Travellers are forced to resort to unauthorised sites.

“These unauthorised sites are inevitably harder to service, so lead to issues such as waste not being routinely collected.

“Conversely, well-run authorised sites can receive services very similar to ‘bricks and mortar’ homes; rent and council tax can be charged and refuse collection can be regular.”

‘Farming needs a touch of diversity’

MORE ethnic minorities should find their way into the predominantly white and middle class world of farming, according to the country’s best known black farmer.

Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones, who runs the Black Farmer brand, said the country's agricultural industry would benefit greatly if more people from ethnic minorities and urban areas started farms.

The Conservative parliamentary candidate for Chippenham in Wiltshire argued the farming industry needed “new ideas”.

He said: “The big thing the farming community needs is fresh blood.

“The relationship with the consumer has been lost because of the rise of supermarkets over the last 20 years.

People from ethnic communities and urban environments know what food people as a community want and they could produce it.


Change is essential to bring more interesting ideas into farming.”

Mr Emmanuel-Jones moved to the UK from Jamaica in 1961 when he was just four years old. He was inspired to become a farmer by watching his father tend to his allotment in Birmingham as a child.

He said many ethnic foods are imported to the UK and argued that if farmers were producing it locally they could discover a cash cow.

He added: “People from ethnic minorities should group together and buy their own land.”

It can be seen how many, like Mr. Emanuel-Jones' father, tend allotments and how the entire families decamp to their on the weekends and other times tending their gardens. In many areas of the country there seem to be now more members of ethnic minorities that have allotments than do “whites”.

If one can bring social or ethnic minorities into farming it will help it to cope with all kinds of challenges in the future.

This could also be a good idea for many of the Romani-Gypsy families in the UK (and elsewhere), that is to say to buy farms,especially those in need of lots of TLC (which may not cost that much then). The large clans would do well to do that and in the same way this could combat the apparent government housing policy to break up the “large” Gypsy families, destroying the family structure and with it the Romani Culture.

The faming industry in this country, and not just in this country, is still dominated by a certain clique of white, middle class people. Diversity really benefits all sorts of organisations and businesses, but not really agriculture.

Many of the Romani probably will be reading this and wondering as to whether this writer has lost his marbles and probably think “we are not farmers”. Why not?

The Romani in the UK traditionally worked on farms and many, I am sure, could run farms as well and efficient as the non-Romani.

There are many Rom that are farmers in other EU countries, even in Germany, and many have been for generations. So, what's keeping you?

Getting hold of farms in need of TLC also would enable many of the families to atch together in one place and, with the right attitude to the farming neighbors, I am sure, Rom could be as accepted as others who set up farms.

Michael Smith (Veshengro), January 2008

Dark Blood – Book Review

Dark Blood
A Romany Story
William Lee (author)

Minerva Press 1999
ISBN: 0-75410-703-5
118 pages, paperback, 8”x5.75”
Available only direct from the author
Price: 8 GBP

Dark Blood is the story of Ethan Bray, a Romany boy orphaned in World War II, growing up with Gohja folks. Into his settled farming life in post-war Kent comes May, the daughter of the Romany-Gypsy Tucker Beaney; but Ethan must face great dangers and personal conflict in order to win her hand in marriage.

It took me just a little over a day to read this book from cover to cover, not wanting to put it down.

I have laughed and I have cried, and I have fumed with anger at the injustices done to the characters just for being Romany, while reading this book; emotions aroused by the beautiful telling of this story.

Dark Blood is a fast moving story that will grip the reader nigh from the first page and will not let go till the last word.

This is how a story should be told, the story of the Romany, telling parts of our Culture without disclosing too much.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone. You will not be disappointed and Dark Blood is equally suited for adults and young people alike.

Go and buy the book and support a Romany author who has used his own money to self-publish his books through a so-called “vanity publisher” so that all can enjoy those stories. But having done the publishing by means of a “vanity publisher” it was sure no vanity on Kako Bill's part. We must all thank him for having done so.

Yes, I did say books in the last paragraph. There is indeed a sequel out to Dark Blood, thank the Duvel.

To order this book send a cheque of £8 (in the UK) (Overseas please enquire cost and rates for shipping from the author) to:

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro), January 2008

Separate School Buses for Roma Children

Councillors of the City of Rome have been calling for separate school buses for (immigrant) Roma children as, so it is claimed, Roma children used to fight with the Italian children on those buses.

How long would it be before the call would go out to have separate school buses for Italian Sinti and Roma children? And what next? Separate sidewalks for Sinti and Roma and for “normal” Italians?

Regardless of the fact that this did cause an outcry among the people and especially some more senior people in Rome's city government and one particular councillor, who was a member of the Communist Party in fact, has now resigned and left his post, Italy most certainly is and will be in the future one EU country to watch and closely monitor in regards to Anti-Gypsyism.

We all must keep a rather close eye on the EU per se for this is but the tip of the iceberg, of that I am sure, and it would definitely appear as if move are afoot in many, if not indeed most, EU member states against the Rom. (I use the term Rom here as an all inclusive term to encompass the Sinti, Roma, Kale and indeed other Romani groups).

Vigilance must me maintained and the world must be made aware of any such racist Anti-Gypsy actions and even the mere proposals wherever and whenever they may raise their ugly heads.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), January 2008

Fortuneteller gets 1 1/2 years in jail

She bilked brokenhearted woman out of $220,000


The 26-year-old woman was so heartbroken over a breakup with her boyfriend that she trusted two Seattle fortunetellers to help her win him back.

Sophie Evon and her daughter-in-law, both self-proclaimed Gypsies, lit candles, burned leaves and convinced the woman that they could break the spell that had supposedly been cast on her ex.

They just needed to borrow her savings so that they could pray over it.

"Through the whole thing, I always had doubts," the woman told a King County judge on Friday. "I thought (Evon) cared about me. ... She was good at sensing my doubts and re-establishing my trust throughout the whole process."

Read on...

Editorial Comment:

With these kind of folks guaranteeing continuous unfavorable and even bad publicity as regards the Romani-Gypsy, and yes, the Evon and Lee families are Romani, and this is also the case here more than likely, we certainly do not need to look for enemies.

We, the Romani People and Nation, must begin to clean up our own act by policing our own. While fortune telling is fine, in my book, scamming and fraud is not.


Clear & Present Danger

“These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service to their country(*); but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, 1780

(*) For country it would do us well to substitute “Nation” or “People” as we are here referring to the Romani People or – Nation.

We too live in trying times and so far our soldiers are missing or very few and far between, like partisans rather than an army.

While our enemies plot and scheme, our People remain unready and even unwilling to fight – hiding seems the preferred option – and many, if not indeed most, of our “leaders” - now there is a joke, “leaders” - are worse even than the enemies “outside the gates”. Our People are under grave threat, physical and otherwise, to be wiped out as a People, as a Race, and what do those so-called “leaders” do? Nothing. Nothing to help, that is for sure.

If they are not simply interested in lording it over the “ordinary” grassroots Rom they are after money from the very enemies who, at this very moment, are, once again, plotting to put Rom into concentration camps (Italy – under the guise of “solidarity villages) and ghettos (Czech Republic, etc.), with all those being European Union member countries. The money from the EU is the very reason they are so silent and permit all mention of this to be spiked by the editors of the media in the countries of the new Europe. The European Union is talking big as to what they want to do for the Romani and about integration for our People while behind the scenes something entirely different is going on and they prepare, once again, to incarcerate our Race in camps with barbed wire surrounds and in ghettos with high walls topped with razor wire. Rome burns while Nero fiddles.

Awake Romale – your very leaders, your “kings”, “emperors”, “tsars” and “judges”, the latter who would not be able to judge a beauty contest or an allotment garden produce show, are selling you out to the enemy while feathering their own nests with money that should be for the People.

© Michael Smith (Veshengro), January 2008

This is the first page of an 8-page essay. The essay in its entirety is found in the next issue of the O NEVO DROM Journal. To read this essay complete and other articles, please take out a subscription to the O NEVO DROM journal. Subscription is free and the magazine is paper-less and mailed out as an email attachment. To subscribe send an email to churimengro1-at-yahoo-cot-com with “I wish to subscribe to O NEVO DROM” in the subject line.