Sunday, January 21, 2007

No To Gypsy Site In Swaythling

The Conservatives are strongly against Lib Dem and Labour plans to build a Gypsy Transit Site at Monks Brook in Swaythling.

Providing a Gypsy site is a good thing in principle, however:

1) There has been no consultation on alternative sites. Swaythling residents are simply told take it and don't complain. This is outrageous!
2) It is going to cost the tax payer millions for a site for 12 caravans
3) The roads in the area will need extensive changes and this will cost the Council Tax payers of Southampton an estimated £1m to £1.5m.
4) There are lots of higher priorities.
5) There is a perfectly suitable site already at Kanes Hill.


Here is an extract from the speech I gave to Council on Wednesday on the subject:

There are many competing demands on the council finances. The roads in the suburbs are in a terrible state and are in urgent need of more money, we desperately need a park and ride scheme in the city, vulnerable adults and children in the city need extra funding. So why is the Council planning to spend millions of pounds on a few travellers?

For me providing a gypsy site is important, as many things are but nowhere near as important as these other things.

The site at Monks Brook is going to be very expensive and its also going to cause a lot of disruption for those living in the area.

I sat on the gypsy and traveller scrutiny panel. It was a well informed and some interesting ideas came out of our meetings.

Tolerated sites - on patches of empty ground not near houses, under bridges etc. If travellers stopping on these sites are not causing problems then I don’t think it is a good use of public resources to seek their speedy removal.

However if we are going to be tolerant in some areas which we don’t deem to be really a problem we need to be even more vigorous in protecting sites such as parks and playing fields. We should have a policy of absolute zero tolerance on these sites.

In Freemantle ward we have had had two recent gypsy incursions, one of which was opposite St
Marks school. I did not get the feeling that there was any sense of urgency about removing the encampment. The police by contrast we extremely responsive and clearly do have the powers to act if they put under some pressure.

There is a permanent site at Kanes Hill. Our proposal is that we look at this site to provide a transit site.


UPDATE 22/01/07: I went to the public meeting in Wide Lane yesterday. I estimate that there was in excess of 350 people there. This really demonstrates the strength of opposition to the planned transit site. Until now these people have not been consulted as the whole process has been kept under a veil of total secrecy.

I think it is quite wrong that the transit site is being imposed on a local community without their consent. The Council's cabinet is meeting today at the Civic Centre at 3pm and the transit site is on the agenda. Lots of residents are expected to attend to make their views clear.

Local Lib Dem Councillors in Swaythling have said they are now against the transit site. This is despite voting in favour of it on Wednesday. I doubt however they will persuade the rest of the Lib Dem Councillors on the City Council to scrap the idea. If they don't then the Council will continue to push ahead with the plan.

2 comments:

sbobet said...

thanks ysboou for arsbochive

sbobet said...

providing a gypsy site is important, as mansbo
sbo
y things are but nowhere near as important as these other things.