Parklife Occupy Government Office

Parklife 'Save Priory Park' campaign
Press Release Monday 23rd January 2006

Parklife press line 1 (inside the building)
07929 595 761
Parklife press line 2 (outside the building)
07929 595 766

Government office occupied by collective against the F5 'white elephant.'

Members of campaign group Parklife, residents from the Camp Bling1 protest site, and supporters from the wider anti-roads movement, are taking direct action this morning against the controversial F5 dual carriageway scheme, planned for the A127/A1159 Priory Crescent, in Southend on Sea, Essex.

An occupation is currently underway at the Cambridge based regional Government Office for the East of England GO-East2 (GO), in advance of recommendations to be made on funding for the controversial stretch of dual carriageway, by the Regional Partnership Group3 which comprises both GO and the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA).

Speaking from inside the building, Parklife campaigner and 'Bling' resident Shaun Qureshi said, 'The Department for Transport (DfT) could be sponsoring destruction to the tune of £27.5m, if the latest information from the Minister for Transport proves to be correct.

Unfortunately no one will answer our questions, and both GO-East and EERA will be making decisions behind closed doors later this week, regarding recommending the scheme to Ministers for funding.'

Protestors intend to stay inside the Government office, disrupting business and drawing attention to what they termed as, 'one of the most ridiculous road schemes ever devised,' during a previous demonstration at the DfT in August 2005.

Qureshi added, 'The people of Southend are now readying themselves to stop the F5 white elephant. This can be done either by cancelling funds on the part of the Government, or by direct action at Camp Bling. The outcome is very much in the hands of the decision makers, who need to start listening, then thinking very long and very hard about our views before their meeting this Friday, to avoid the latter outcome.'

The Regional Partnership Group is holding a closed meeting at 10.00am on Friday 27th January, at Ipswich County Hall, Suffolk, to review a priority list of road schemes for the region to be built over the next 10 years. A subsequent final decision from the DfT is expected in the spring, based on the recommendations of the Group.

Demonstrators intend to disrupt the meeting, with a view to influencing the decision making process and Government funding.

More details on the campaign can be found at

1) 'Camp Bling' was established on Thursday 23rd September 2005 by local residents in Southend on Sea, Essex. The camp is intended to be a permanent fixture, until funding for the F5 road scheme is cancelled, or a site eviction takes place.
2) Parklife are currently occupying the entrance to the offices of regional Government office GO-East at the Eastbrook site, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge, CB2 2DF.
3) The Regional Partnership Group comprises EERA, EEDA, Go-East, other key regional organisations and elected members from each Local Area Agreement (LAA) grouping. The Group will be asked to approve the recommended transport schemes at its meeting on Friday 27th January 2006, before the details are sent to central Government for final approval in the spring.


Line 1 07929 595 761
Line 2 07929 595 766

Government Office for the East of England (GO-East)
Transport Team
Shaftesbury Road
01223 372 752

Department for Transport
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
London SW1P 4DR
0207 944 8300

Karen Buck
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State
(Responsible for Local Transport Plans)
26 Whitehall

Forwarded from