1981 A defiant Jim Baker

Defiant farmer ‘will go to jail’ before he moves concrete blocks
Press article 1981

A FARMER has dumped blocks of cement on road islands near Bury St. Edmunds . . . and says he will go to jail rather than move them.

Mr. Jim Baker, of The Millstones, Elmswell, spent two days removing the rubble from his land and carting it on to the islands on the A45 dual carriageway.

Mr. Baker explained that several years ago the Department of the Environment made a compulsory purchase order on five acres of his land. The rubble had been left in adjacent fields after work was completed on the A45 by contractors Amey Roadstone Corporation Ltd, he said. “The amount of rubble left in those fields will take at least ten or 15 more years to completely remove, and everywhere I look I come across tarmac and heaps of other rubbish” said Mr. Baker. He claimed that £40 worth of damage was done when two blades broke off a mole drainer as he hit a large concrete block in a field.

“I would have liked to block the road with the rubble, but that would have made it unsafe, so I put it on the islands. What else could I do with it? There are tons of the stuff in my fields and I can’t get rid of it all at once — most of it is hidden until I bump into it,” Mr. Baker said. And he added that he is going to take any more blocks of cement he finds on to the islands in the road.

Mr. Baker said he had told police he would rather go to jail than move the rubble. But last night a police spokesman said that Mr. Baker’s behaviour was ‘unwise’. “A matter like this would have to be reported with a view to prosecution for an offence against the litter Act” the spokesman said.

Mr. Baker said that he had repeatedly asked the Departnent of Transport at the time of the work being done near his fields, that any rubble left on his land should be buried deep in the ground. “They wouldn’t take any notice though, and just carried on grinding the stuff into the soil surface,” he said.

Last night both the Department of Transport and Amey Roadstone Corporation were unavailable for comment.