Friday, 9 February 2007
Lying by Omission - Illegal Traveller Sites
I have been reading recently in the press about the illegal traveller sites in England. There has been a lot of huffing and puffing from all sides of the community and particularly from our councillors and government. The reality is this. There is NO LAW for local authorities to provide alternative sites for these people. It is only a GUIDELINE from the Secretary of State. I repeat, there is no basis in law to assist these people. They are living illegally and our councils should move them on immediately. The arguments about whether the sites are clean, whether they pay council tax or their children are at local schools are not the point. These people are trying to buck the system, purchasing land, moving onto it and then applying for retrospective planning permission. If you or i were to this do this we would be dealt with in short order. I am disgusted that our local councils have not seen fit to tell the taxpaying public that there is no legal obligation to further assist these travellers. Instead, by omission, we have been led to believe there is a legal basis for spending even more of our hard earned money on finding and purchasing these alternative sites. I hope when election time comes people will remember the way in which this "alternative sites" policy has been misleadingly presented to the public. If any councillor reading this can give a good valid reason why, i for one, would be pleased to hear it.