Gypsies to swamp villages? (The Weston Mercury 15/1/09)

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Gypsies to swamp villages? (The Weston Mercury 15/1/09)

Post  Flowergirl on Sun Feb 01, 2009 1:59 pm

RESIDENTS of two North Somerset villages are worried they will be overrun by gypsy sites if a scheme to provide more traveller accommodation goes ahead.

They say Hewish and Puxton already have their fair share and should not be have to set aside any more land.

There are eight residential gypsy sites across North Somerset, but Government policy means North Somerset Council will have to provide a further 36 by 2011.

At a meeting on January 8 parish council chairman Andy McKenzie said: "We've already got 10 pitches and that's enough.

"We are worried about the fact that there are already a number of gypsy and travellers' sites in our area and we should not have to take any more."

Plans for another four pitches in the parish have recently been lodged with the unitary authority.

Clayton Penfold wants to install four more pitches on the Heathfield Park gypsy site in Bristol Road.

Councillor McKenzie added: "If we take another four then by my calculations the centre of Weston should take about 500."

Ward councillor Ian Porter told the meeting the unitary authority had formed a committee to look at where to put the sites, but none had been identified.

Cllr Porter said North Somerset Council was one of many local authorities with a similar problem.

He said: "I'm not going to support any more (sites) in our area and there are plenty of other places in North Somerset that they can go."

The councillors also raised the issue of horses and carts being used on the A370 during rush hour.

The gypsies in charge of the vehicles are causing long tailbacks between Puxton and Congresbury in the morning and the afternoon every day.

Cllr Jim Gilbody added: "We want to know North Somerset's policy on traveller sites and what their intentions are.

"You can guarantee that the sites are not going to be in Weston. What they will say is that there will be 10 in Congresbury and 10 in the parish of Puxton.

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