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Occupy protesters are ‘staying put’
8:20am Saturday 16th June 2012 in News
Council officials say health and safety concerns are increasing the longer Occupy Westfield protesters stay put.
Recent heavy rain forced the camp to move to higher ground to get away from threatening floods, but numbers seem to have increased at their new pitch on the Cathedral side of the site, with the arrival of caravans.
Protesters have also been lighting fires in a bid to keep warm while waiting for a Bradford Council response to their demands.
They want the Council to hold a public inquiry to answer its questions about the development agreement for the Broadway shopping centre.
A Westfield spokesman said a further letter had been sent to protesters asking them for a departure date.
According to the spokesman, police have visited the camp about the open fires and that activity has now ceased. Police said no crimes had been recorded on the site.
But a Bradford Council spokesman said: “There are increasing health and safety concerns as their residence continues. And we again request that they now leave promptly.”
Occupy Westfield’s legal adviser, Alias Yousaf, of Chambers Solicitors, Bradford, said the protesters would be staying put at this stage.
“Yes, they’ve been lighting fires, but they have been controlled fires in a steel bin and they have wood fires – nothing toxic or harmful. As far as I’m aware they didn’t need permission to do that.”