Traveller sites

In response to your recent front page story regarding traveller sites. Nailsea East, which is my ward, has been a prime target in recent years for illegal traveller encampments, creating misery and disturbance to dozens of local residents in the Trendlew

In response to your recent front page story regarding traveller sites. Nailsea East, which is my ward, has been a prime target in recent years for illegal traveller encampments, creating misery and disturbance to dozens of local residents in the Trendlewood Way and Lodge Lane areas of Nailsea. What is being advocated by some local authority officials is quite bluntly a system of double standards. Why should groups of irresponsible law breaking travellers be allowed to camp on areas of parkland, authorised or otherwise, willy nilly causing damage to the environment, ruining local residents' peace and quiet? Just to rub salt into the wounds, the travellers pay absolutely no financial contribution to the local authority. On the contrary, residents in North Somerset have to pay through their council tax for regular clear up operations costing the council thousands of pounds. The vast majority of people who own caravans in the UK have to site their caravans responsibly and legally at all times and pay the appropriate charges accordingly, so I don't see why travellers should buck the system.If in due course local authorities are made to provide traveller sites by central government, then certain criteria should apply stringently for example.1) All councils should be under the same obligation, so that North Somerset does not become a honey pot.2) When the legal site is full, all additional travellers visiting the site are immediately escorted out of North Somerset by the police and/or the local authority.3) Any other encroachments onto parkland areas within North Somerset are to be outlawed and travellers moved out of North Somerset immediately by the police.4) Travellers are made to pay a contribution for their stayovers at a legal site.5) Travellers are made to pay for any damage caused to the site and the local environment. Andy Cole - District Cllr Nailsea East.* What do you think? What would your criteria be for travellers visiting North Somerset? Write to us at Mailbox, North Somerset Times, 32 Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, BS23 1LW. You can also e-mail us at nstimes@archant.co.uk


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