Travellers' site row: we've nowhere to put transit camp, say Bournemouth and Poole leaders (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Travellers' site row: we've nowhere to put transit camp, say Bournemouth and Poole leaders
BOURNEMOUTH and Poole have nowhere to put official sites for gypsies and travellers, their leaders have insisted.
The stance puts the towns at odds with the county’s police and crime commissioner and Dorset County Council, who both think the conurbation should find a site.
The controversy took a new twist today with the prospect of cabinet minister Eric Pickles allowing tougher action against illegal camps in Bournemouth and Poole.
Police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill told the Daily Echo that Mr Pickles would let police use stronger powers – as long as there was an official site shared between authorities.
But Mr Underhill added: “There has got to be a temporary travellers’ site in the conurbation.”
Dorset recently took a major step towards providing a transit site at either Weymouth or Piddlehinton. A committee voted to work with Bournemouth and Poole to find a temporary site.
But Cllr John Beesley, leader of Bournemouth council, said the only available sites would have been on the green belt.
“It’s now clear that there are no suitable sites in Bournemouth.
For lawful planning reasons, any time potential sites are put forward, they are rejected.”
Cllr Mike White, deputy leader of the Borough of Poole, said: “We believe that working with neighbouring authorities in Bournemouth and across Dorset to find a county-wide solution represents the best way forward.”
The law allows police to act quicker in areas where the council has a transit camp.
A forum on the travellers issue, called by Poole council cabinet member Cllr Judy Butt, was due to meet today to be attended by police, residents’ associations, council officers and the NHS.
The issue will also be discussed at a meeting of Bournemouth’s Local Development Framework Steering Group on Monday. A report recommends that transit sites are located in South East Dorset and the Dorset County Council area, rather than in Bournemouth.
- Mayor calling on Poole council to provide temporary traveller site by June 2014
- Poole park and ride ‘not available for traveller transit site’
- Bournemouth and Poole urged to set up travellers’ sites
- Poole charity workers man Holton Lee site after travellers attempt to move in
- We've no obvious place for a traveller transit site, say Poole bosses
- Bournemouth council: how we're tackling issue of unauthorised travellers camps
- Frightened mum attacked by dog
- Residents form 'human barricade' after travellers move onto Branksome Rec
- Steam Fair boss: our transit camp is not a long term solution for travellers
- Councils have "completely failed us", say travellers
- Councils should act faster over illegal traveller sites, says government
- Police commissioner Martyn Underhill calls for changes to traveller laws
- UPDATED: Temporary camp set up to ease illegal occupations
- PICTURES: Travellers leave Broadstone Rec - but look what they left behind
- Travellers on the move: Goodbye Broadstone Rec, hello Haskells
- UPDATED: Turlin Moor travellers move on to Canford Heath
- Meeting planned to tackle traveller problem
- No-go area: call for crisis talks as travellers take over beauty spots
- Councillors call for more laws to deal with travellers after "unacceptable behaviour" closes Pelhams Park leisure centre
- No defences: Anger as travellers move around leaving councils facing battle to stop them
- UPDATED: Travellers moved on from Slades Farm and Baiter - but turn up at Pelhams and Whitecliff instead
- UPDATED: Turlin Moor and Slades Farm play host to travellers
- We'll make sure travellers don't return after "invasion", say residents
- Council admits to making mistakes over handling of West Parley travellers
- UPDATED: Police close play area at Whitecliff after excrement found on play equipment
- Traveller child's knife death threat to gran
Summer of illegal sites
Bournemouth and Poole councils spent much of the summer pursuing the travellers who set up illegal encampments.
In Bournemouth, there were camps at Slades Farm, Pelhams Park, Turbary Common and West Howe.
In most cases, councils took days to seek a court order authorising an eviction, only for the travellers to move when the order was due to take effect.
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