THE Gypsy Council has waded into the controversy over a temporary summer site for gypsies and travellers in Poole.
Borough of Poole is suggesting two sites, at Marshes End, Creekmoor and off Broadstone Way, where the police would be able to move travellers who invade public open space, without the need to go to court.
The controversial issue is due to go before an emergency meeting of the full council on January 27 at 6pm.
Joe Jones, chairman of the Gypsy Council, called for consultation with the gypsy and traveller population over where they would like to live.
“If the provision is not provided, then there is no other option than to provide for yourself,” he said. “In the way of private, public and unauthorised developments.”
He said it was unfair to “put the failures of those in power, on our shoulders” due to a lack of political will. And he said no-one had taken into account the growth rate of the population.
“A 12 pitch site soon becomes overcrowded, so there needs to be an ongoing programme of provision.”
He said: “We have and are willing to help in this process, through the consultation of the local gypsy and traveller population, who might in fact welcome being asked where they would like to live, rather than being told where to reside.
“Being spoken for is nothing like being spoken to.”
Poole had a long list of 90 possible sites for a temporary stopping place and has been unable to identify a site for a permanent transit site.
Over the last five years work has been carried out to find a site Dorset-wide.
Deputy council leader Cllr Mike White is visiting parliament with MP Robert Syms next Tuesday to lobby Brandon Lewis, Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government.
“We will be discussing our sharing a site with our neighbours in Dorset or Bournemouth.
“At the moment that’s not allowed under current legislation,” said Cllr White.