£134k to help two traveller families

PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 January 2012

Archant

MORE than £130,000 will be spent on providing two traveller families with land to settle on in Weston.

The Government will provide £134,000 for work at the Willowmead site after a successful funding bid from North Somerset Council. The money will be spent on redeveloping the pitches at the site off Moor Lane, and for building two new amenity blocks at the site.

A spokesman for the council said plans have not yet been finalised as to the exact make-up of the pitches and blocks.

The Government says the funding, together with the upcoming Localism Act, will help authorities tackle unauthorised pitches and provide better facilities on authorised sites.

North Somerset was one of many authorities across the country to apply for funding from the Home and Communities Agency for new traveller pitches.

The Government department will shell out £47million for 750 new and improved pitches across the country.

The site has been used for travellers pitches since 1992, when it was appropriated as a temporary site by the former Avon County Council.

Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset’s deputy leader and executive member for housing and gypsies and travellers, said: “I am pleased that we have secured this funding. There is a need within our local gypsy/traveller community for additional pitches and this money means we will be able to accommodate two more local families on an existing site.

“Willowmead has been successfully integrated into the wider local community now for many years and deserves the improvements that will come with this funding.

“It is also gratifying to see ministers acknowledging the work our officers have done in putting the bid together and the subsequent assessment process we went through.”

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