Council chief: it will take years to find solution to gypsy and traveller problem (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Council chief: it will take years to find solution to gypsy and traveller problem
IT WILL take “years” to sort Dorset’s gypsy and traveller problem, the leader of the county council has admitted.
Councillor Spencer Flower said a series of authorised encampments are planned for the future to alleviate the number of camps on public land.
However finding a resolution is a “long-winded process”, and more temporary sites are on the table until permanent encampments are realised.
Councillors will be consulted on October 1, before a second round of public consultation begins during the summer next year.
Cllr Flower said: “There are constraints on the council.
“Any accusation of being toothless is unfounded. The trouble is, as soon as you put in your teeth and start doing something constructive, no one wants it. At some point, if you want to deal with the problem, you have to step up, but people don’t want permanent sites near them.
“There are difficulties and it will be many years before we end up with a solution,” he said.
“We’re anxious to sort this out. If we have got some temporary provision, we are in a better place when it comes to dealing with inappropriate encampments.”
The earliest a planning document on permanent sites could be adopted is late 2016 or early 2017.
Head of countryside and business development for the council, Dave Ayre, said that as of Wednesday, there were 14 groups of travellers in Dorset.
However, the temporary transit site set up in Tarrant Hinton to deal with travellers attending the Great Dorset Steam Fair is already proving to be a success.
“Already, 16 caravans have moved there from an encampment in Blandford, and we believe a further 11 from Shaftesbury will be moved there soon,” said Mr Ayre.
“The county council very much takes the view that, in the long-term, we want to provide authorised sites, which will cut down on the number of unauthorised encampments.”
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