Friday, July 27, 2007

2,000 residents say 'No way' to travellers and gypsies in The Deepings...

At least 2,000 local residents turned out to the public meeting tonight to send a strong message against South Kesteven District Council's plans for a travellers and gypsy site in The Deepings which I posted on HERE.

Officers from Grantham-based SKDC bravely presented their plans which include five possible sites in Market Deeping, and attempted to answer a host of hostile questions.

The sports hall at Deepings Leisure Centre was filled to its 400 capacity half an hour before the meeting was due to start - it's always difficult to estimate the size of a crowd, but I reckon there were at least four times as many people standing outside as there were inside.

Unfortunately, a plasma screen due to relay the presentation was damaged during the set-up, so those outside (including yours truly) had to make do with listening to the meeting via speakers.

However, John Hayes MP, who chaired the meeting, frequently came outside to pass the microphone around to hear as many views as possible.

I managed to make a few comments as parish and county councillor for Deeping St James. I told SKDC that they had made a complete hash of the 'consultation' to date, and have no faith that it will result in fair and rational decisions.

Remember, this is the same Council who made a dog's breakfast with their failed £650,000 glossy campaign (funded by council taxpayers) to sell-off their entire stock of council houses.

That was only a few months ago. Now the traveller/gyspy site farce.

SKDC is consulting on 19 potential traveller gypsy sites in Grantham, Bourne, Stamford and Market Deeping, when only one site may - or not - be needed to serve the entire district.

It's late now, so I'll try to post a fuller report on the meeting tomorrow...


Anonymous said...

I never thought you was a nimby Phil.

They have to go somewhere.

Anonymous said...

My prediction would be that any extra provision, which will be very limited, will be in Grantham.

A very brave and thoughtful article by Mark Horn in the local press today.

OK, he makes no reference to the problems of mess that some travellers sites can bring, but as Geoffrey Brooking says they do have to go somewhere.

fairdealphil said...

not had a chance to open the weeklies yet so not seen Mark's article.

i agree with the need for proper sites - one benefit will be that it will be easier to deal with illegal encampments.

but as i said, none of the sites identified in The Deepings appear to fit the criteria as laid down by skdc.