NEARLY 200 concerned residents turned out for a public meeting over the prospect of a transit site for travellers in Creekmoor.
The meeting, held at Creekmoor Community Centre on Saturday night, saw standing room only at the facility, as residents met with ward councillors to discuss the potential site.
It was held just two days before an extraordinary meeting at Borough of Poole tonight, where members will be asked to approve the sites and authorise a planning application to enable the borough to have temporary stopping places by the summer.
Cllr Judy Butt, ward councillor for Creekmoor, said the meeting was “very successful.”
“There was no nastiness or anything and what we found touching was that the residents were more concerned about the travellers being on a site which is not at all suitable for health and safety reasons.
“We will be talking to a group about perhaps waiting a year on this to continue lobbying to get the law changed.
“Our main points always come back to the cost and the safety of the site.”
The public meeting comes after a delegation from Poole went to London to lobby Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis over the issue of transit sites.
Cllr Mike White, deputy leader of Borough of Poole, said: “Poole is keen to share a site with its neighbours, Bournemouth or Dorset, where travellers who set up camp illegally on public open space or private land, could be moved on by the police.
“But sharing a site instead of each local authority providing its own is likely to need a change in the law,” said Cllr White.
Organised by Poole MP Robert Syms, the meeting was also attended by Annette Brooke, MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole; Cllr Mike Brooke, Lib Dem leader on Borough of Poole and representatives of Dorset Police.
The meeting was one of six initiatives agreed by the council after a summit held last October to try to find solutions following a summer of illegal encampments across the borough.
One of the other points agreed was to consider searching for a temporary stopping place, and from 90 sites considered, two were put forward to cabinet, at Marshes End, Creekmoor for 27 pitches and land north of the B&Q car park in Broadstone Way, for four pitches.
Follow live coverage of the meeting tonight with a live blog starting on the Bournemouth Echo site from 5.30pm