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  • Gypsy site meeting 5pm: November 18, 2007
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Author Topic: Local traveller and gypsy sites  (Read 174268 times)

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Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #60 on: January 26, 2008, 04:36:37 pm »
Actually I dont think the consultants were asked to do more than identify land. The report specifically allows that outside factors such as general planning and the question of the availability of the recommended site have not been considered.

As I have mentioned before it would be very interesting to see the terms of reference and the invoice for this work!
 

Offline Ferdie

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #61 on: January 26, 2008, 06:02:29 pm »
So if some locals got together and bought or leased the land...then the camp couldn't go ahead.

Not too much different to what was done to save Gobions from development.

or as happened in Crays Hill, Wickford, Essex, with widely publicised consequences the travelling community could get together and buy the land then apply for retrospective planning permission having occupied the land. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4596007.stm

Either way, a lot of this is an highly emotive subject.



 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2008, 03:31:22 am »
Why were the consultants instructed without a criteria? You might as well throw money in a ditch!

When is the council actually going to pull their finger out to try and do this properly instead of a half hearted, amateurish cowboy job that they've done so far.  Are they going to accept blame for this blunder? Are they going to re-employ the consultants to look again? Are they going to advise that there is no suitable site and stand up for themselves? What exactly is their plan?

Even the site meeting held was poorly timed - 5.00pm on a Friday is not the best when people are working and looking forward to their weekend etc  It's quite incredible that around 200 attended but I bet there would have been a lot more if it was held at 7.00pm on a day other than a Friday!  Does anyone know if a representative from the travelling community was there? Considering the whole point of this is focused on them, it would be pertinent to get their view point.

I am not sure of the outcome, but having looked at the link that Ferdie posted, do we really want a situation to arise like the one at Cray's Hill?  I'm not saying it would and know that Irish Tinkers are extremely different to Romanies or English Travellers, but it's something to consider IF a suitable piece of land is available!

Did you know that David Essex (singer/actor) is Patron of the Gypsy Council.  I wonder what he would make of this!
 

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2008, 07:51:49 pm »
The consultants were employed by a group of councils, not just ours and I dare  say the terms of reference were a matter of negotiation, or perhaps even imposed by central govt.

The consultants report is just one part of the evidence the planners have to consider. There is a lot more work to be done and a long process involved in which the public will be consulted on both which criteria should be used in the end and which site if any should be chosen in our area.

I really dont understand the whole process or who drives it so I really wouldnt want to pin all the blame on our Borough Council.
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #64 on: January 27, 2008, 09:44:41 pm »
It's all fair and good to have public consultations - but based on what?  The council can't even get over the first hurdle.  So far, land identified will involve major legal issues - why consult on something that can't eventuate?

Why can't the Borough Council approach the 'powers that be' and explain the difficulty instead of wasting time and money? It's a joke.

If glory and credit was to be gained by finding a suitable site, it would have been found already. Nobody wants to take responsibility for finding a site in any case. Too many lost potential votes and losing favour or credibility with the public.

Also, can anyone please tell me if a travellers representative was even invited to the meeting?  If not, why not?
 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #65 on: January 28, 2008, 10:22:09 am »
Why can't the Borough Council approach the 'powers that be' and explain the difficulty instead of wasting time and money? It's a joke.

The joke  is our so-called 'listening' Government which dictates.  It does not listen.  It even insists on new housing being built on flood plains despite the events of 2007.  Be glad you do not live in Tewksbury.

The meeting was held by our MP not the Council, and I assume that this was the only time he could fit it in with his schedule. 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #66 on: January 29, 2008, 07:25:40 am »
Does anybody know the outcome of the consultants reports in the other council areas?  I wonder if it is the same sort of scenario?    :)

Also, does the council have some sort of travellers waiting list for the 'proposed' site?  Believe me, this would be my greatest concern. As I mentioned previously, Irish Tinkers are extremely different to Romanies and English Travellers.   If you've ever wondered why there are so many Irish Tinkers around in the UK it's because specific families were told to leave their homeland..or else...by a certain political party in Ireland. This is no hidden fact.

 

Offline jet

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #67 on: January 29, 2008, 06:27:59 pm »
When the "travellers" turn up near by things dissappear mainly because the kids go on the rob.
They leave junk and filth everywhere.
Took my neighbours dish leaving the bracket and tried to tow away trailer while house was occupied. Fact!
They do not help themselves by their attitude, however things have changed due to various cases where householders have defended themselves and been exonerated by the courts.

 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #68 on: January 29, 2008, 07:29:48 pm »
Jet.  I have friends and family that live in Eire, mainly in the horse business. They've all had lots of problems with Tinkers and have found that resorting to baseball bats is a lot easier than calling the police. More effective and actually gets results...i.e property back!  Out of all the travelling communities, it's 90% Irish that travel today.
 

Offline PS

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #69 on: January 29, 2008, 07:35:12 pm »
Stevea........... how could you suggest "baseball bats" in your comment !! Are you closetted BNP by any chance ? Disgraceful attitude. I would not condone this at all, as I am sure many would agree. 
 

Offline jet

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #70 on: January 29, 2008, 10:03:28 pm »
In the real world where the Guards or Police don't turn up because they are to busy getting interpreters to deal with drunken ethnics :( it is desirable to use minimum force as needed.
Over here we use a Hurley and in Munster most carry them ostensiably for sport but they come in handy as a deterent.
Travellers are very good for VAT free turf though :)
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #71 on: January 30, 2008, 02:53:48 am »
I must emphasise that I do not condone the use of baseball bats or hurleys but this factually happens. In fact, their favourite weapon is a tyre wrench which is kept behind a seat of a truck and is not illegal to carry. No matter what the type of traveller they rarely call the police unless it's a case of murder or of a missing child, and they tend to sort things out amongst themselves.  The tyre wrench and a good right hand has solved many an argument!

This is all relevant to my asking who the proposed site is for.

PS - Why would you think I'm closetted BNP? Your remark indicates that you think the BNP are violent. Well, you know they are. The only thing I have in common with the BNP is Nick Griffin, the Chairman - both he and I have both been known to throw a good right hander - only mine would be in self defence. We'll leave it as that.
 

Offline Paul Zukowskyj

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #72 on: January 30, 2008, 11:23:12 am »
Hi,

I've been doing a bit of reading of the documents that the consultants provided. Their 'criteria' for exclusion of sites are not described in detail in the report and are therefore very difficult to determine. I suspect much of the criteria are related to the borough council's local plan, which determines what are acceptable landuses across the borough. Which landuses they determined were acceptable and which not is somewhat unclear. One criteria they DID describe as being used however was the landscape character assessment for the area. A further criteria was access for field visits. If a site was inaccessible at the time the visit was made that site was excluded. Not a good criteria. Suggests that if you DONT want a site near you, you just need to lock your gates and restrict overlooking of the area.

As for a development on Bulls Lane being unlikely, the driver for this is policy from a national level requiring consideration of pitches. The East of England assembly decided that two options should be considered, each of which stated that Welwyn Hatfield (specifically) should look to site an extra 17 pitches by 2011. They then advise sites should have between 10 and 15 pitches, with 10 being the optimum. Either way this means TWO new sites in WH, not just one. The consultants report suggests just one, so to meet the requirements, ANOTHER site will be needed as well as Bulls Lane.

The site identified consists of a small area that matches further requirements (access to local transport, health services, etc) well, a much larger area that matches less well and a small section that is rated as matching poorly. As such it's far from ideal. The consultants also discuss transport access to the site and list it as OK, despite Bulls lane being less than ideal with overhanging vegetation, a poorly maintained road surface and lots of potholes. Not sure I'd like to meet a van pulling a caravan coming the other way down the lane personally.....

The consultants also state that the site would need significant modification for use. This would include building embankments, access roads and other significant infrastructure, meaning a period of building works prior to the site being used. So a building site before a travellers site, possibly for a significant period.

It's also very unclear why this particular site was selected over other potential sites. The maps show significant areas around the borough where there are similar criteria matches and better matches with further requirements, but no other sites are suggested for consideration. Why is the area rated 'good' around Essenden not suggested? The report simply doesn't comment. If it's because access could not be gained for a field visit, that's a very poor reason to exclude it.

All in all, as an experienced GIS expert and someone with some significant experience of the planning process, this document leaves a lot to be desired. There are big holes. If I were Chris Conway, I'd be on the phone asking the consultants to fill in all the gaps if they wanted to get paid.

Personally I'd suggest shooting holes in the document might be a very good way of getting the council to reject the findings and look again at this issue. The consultants comments on existing sites being unsuitable also looks like it needs re-assessing as the key issue appears to be the building work required, whilst they then advocate a site where significant building work will be required!

Hope you find this info of interest,

Paul
 

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #73 on: January 30, 2008, 11:35:12 am »
Thanks Paul. I agree that the conclusion to the report doesnt actually follow the technical work such as it is and I agree the best approach is not to knock the council who have made no decisions yet but to encourage them to reject the report because it is clearly a flawed piece of work.

The report doesnt just cover our the WHBC area and of course does recommened sites outside our area but the arguments in respect of our area are weak as Paul has exposed in detail.

Can I also reiterate a point Grant Shapps made several times-properly sited and managed sites for travelling communities work fine with no problem and no detriment to the wider community. Anyone who argues on a NIMBY basis or who advocates violence is likely to get the response they deserve-ie being ignored. There have been travelling communities in this country for hundreds of years-most of us probably have their DNA in us so dont reach for the tyre wrench too quickly.
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #74 on: January 30, 2008, 08:06:23 pm »
Paul. It was interesting to read your comments and I am pleased that you suggested that the council reject the findings as did Peter Hastings. I have been saying this for quite a while as Bulls Lane is obviously not a suitable site and they should find an alternative instead of wasting time and money.   I would also like to emphasise to anyone that may think otherwise, that I am an advocate of certain travellers - mind you, this would be pretty obvious from my previous posts on this matter!      BTW, my last post was meant to be humorous - well I was chuckling!  :)    I certainly do not condone violence.
 

Offline jet

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #75 on: January 30, 2008, 08:25:58 pm »
I may be a bit dim but humour me.
Something I have never understood.
If someone who is " coventional" wishes to have a caravan etc then they get one on a commercial park and pay rent etc.
If someone is a " traveller" then for some strange reason the community has to accomadate them.
If they wish to travel why do they want a fixed abode?
I suspect its all summat to do with some EU directive or other.
I wish to live in a mansion on an country estate, its my ethnic wish, will someone pay for my wishes for me?
So much effort for so few, beyond belief.
 

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #76 on: January 31, 2008, 06:51:52 am »
Another take on this story from This Is Hertfordshire.
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Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #77 on: January 31, 2008, 08:28:35 am »
According to the article..."no decision has been taken on the placement of Gypsy and Traveller accomodation in Welwyn Hatfield".........we all know this!  "Residents will be consulted at an appropriate juncture when suitable sites are identified".........we know this too, when?!! - next month, next year?.....and the proposed site is STILL
being assessed for suitability!!   What a load of twaddle. Why is it taking so long? Obviously this site has legal issues besides not being suitable...so why not just pull the plug.  Same old story.   Is there a plan B or C?!!...and we still don't seem to know what particular group of gypsies this site is for......nor if gypsies have been consulted.....or if any representative for them attended the meeting.  I'd like to hear their side of the story - wouldn't you?

 

Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #78 on: February 29, 2008, 02:40:54 pm »
The North Mymms District Green Belt Soc and North Mymms Parish Council are both doing what they can at the appropriate times to oppose this site, but is very early days in the process of deciding on the final sites.  Chris Conway clearly stated at the public meeting held in January that no decision is expected before 2010.

To answer another question put to me, Welwyn Hatfield Council will not buy the land on which any gypsy/travellers camp is to be sited.  It will be up to the land owner to get planning permission and then either provide the site or sell/lease the land to others to provide the camp and all its facilities

The Government Office - East (www.go-east.gov.uk) has just started a 12-week consultation on the report sent to GO-East by EERA about the number of new pitches.  There will then be a Public Inquiry and the final decision on the number of pitches in each local authority is not due until 2009.  That means 2010 on past performance!  A waste of time and money since EERA has already done a consultation.  Welwyn Hatfield will still have to find 17 pitches.   ::)

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #79 on: February 29, 2008, 11:05:02 pm »
It seems to me that this site was deliberately chosen to fail.  Agree with you Bob, what a waste of time and money. The council obviously know who, what, why and where and if they don't they shouldn't be in power. The consultants were brought in to pass the buck. Nobody wants to take credit for establishing a new travellers site - unless there was glory or political gain. I don't think we're being told the truth about Bulls Lane. It's a cowboy job from start to finish all the way down the line - and what about the poor old farmer and his indefinate lease???
Mmmmmmm....... :icon_scratch:
 

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #80 on: April 27, 2008, 08:26:55 am »
Leaflets have been delivered to local homes opposing the proposal for a site for the gypsy and traveller community at Bulls Lane. Click here for more details.
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Offline Bob Horrocks

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #81 on: April 28, 2008, 10:47:56 am »
I have changed my mind from when I made my last posting.  Thank goodness for the current consultation by the Government.  The Green Belt Soc Newsletter is being delivered to every home in the parish (Brookmans Park, Welham Green, and parts of Little Heath and Bullens Green).  This is your chance to tell the Government what you think on this subject.  Return the completed response form to me or put it in the collection boxes in Brookmans Park Newsagents and Dellsome Lane Post Office.  The boxes will be emptied on Monday 12th May and the forms sent to the Government.

According to my understanding of the consutation documents, the East of England Regional Assembly (EERA) has carried out numerous studies and concluded that a minimum of 1,187 more pitches are needed by 2011.  Yet the Government Office - East website www.go-east.gov.uk says there are only 1,140 caravans on unauthorised pitches.    Why does the EERA consider more pitches are necessary than there are caravans on unauthorised pitches?   ???

Added to which, each authorised pitch has an average of 1.7 caravans on each pitch.  Using that as a base figure, these 1,140 caravans would only need about 670 pitches.  So 1,187 new authorised pitches would be a vast overprovision.

Welwyn Hatfield Council considers there are enough pitches in this borough already, and any additional need should be met at the Holwell site.

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #82 on: April 28, 2008, 10:53:11 am »
Who actually pays for these sites ? Is it local government, central government or the gypsies themselves ?

Do travellers pay council tax or any other charge to use these facilities ?
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #83 on: April 28, 2008, 11:16:46 am »
Sasquartch - I'm not quite sure how it works with local or central government but I have known gypsies in the past buy their own land and pay rates, services etc just like any of us that live in private housing.  It used to be that if the site was owned by the council - then it was a similar set up as if one was renting a council home. I don't know if it was based on an individual caravan or the overall site.  I have seen caravans on permanent sites with gas and electric meters fitted.
 

Offline Peter Hastings

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #84 on: April 29, 2008, 07:43:52 am »
The Council have made it clear they wouldnt buy the land if a site were approved. It would be up to the gypsies or travellers themselves to buy and develop the site.  OR I suppose anyone could buy it and develop it and rent it to the travelling community.

All we are looking at is whether this site could be approved to be used for such a development IF someone wanted to do that.

Lets hope members of the travelling community are aware of all this and get involved in the consultation. If none of them is interested in this site we are all wasting a lot of time and money!

In general this consultation exercise is flawed. The document we are assessing is flawed and instead of consultating on a range of options we are being offered take it or leave it with implications both ways.
 

Offline Birch

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #85 on: May 01, 2008, 01:32:01 pm »
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #86 on: May 01, 2008, 08:48:08 pm »
I think you'll find that these gypsies are Irish and are some of the families I mentioned in my last post under "A Better Borough". 
 

Offline Therock

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #87 on: May 04, 2008, 09:14:55 pm »
Are you sure they are "IRISH". You seem to me that you are  a expert on the travelling community.could you explain why they are Irish. and not from Norfolk,Suffolk.Essex,Herts,Hackeny etc. Do I love experts or What.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 07:23:05 pm by David Brewer »
 

Offline stevea

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #88 on: May 06, 2008, 04:56:29 am »
The Rock. Well you sure are full of sarcasm. Yes, they are Irish - from Ireland!  Not English.  If you google
Cray's Hill Irish Tinkers you'll also see information about smuggling cocaine from Europe.

I don't claim to be an expert on the travelling community - but I do have a good understanding as well as tolerance of them.  Something you clearly don't have.

The council have been trying to do away with Cray's Hill for years. It is notorious in the travelling community and
the police didn't want it closed as it's been under surveillance for a very long time. Maybe now there's been a few major arrests things will change.

What have you got against being informed about facts?  - or do you just want to hear what pleases you? We do live in a democracy.   

I know you obviously think that I'm a 'gypsy lover' but I'm far from it. I have many friends that are gypsies and  what I would really like to say about the travelling community - English, Irish, whatever - would not always be printed. I also do not want to offend or upset people as some of my factual knowledge is based on politics, violence and drugs.
 

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Re: Local traveller and gypsy sites
« Reply #89 on: May 06, 2008, 08:19:27 pm »
For those living overseas and those not familiar with the local countryside and the proposed travellers site on Bulls Lane, here are some pictures of the field and the road approaching and leaving the site.











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