Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pray for our councillors over travellers site decisions says Vicar...

Pray to help our local councillors come up with the best locations for travellers sites says Reverend Mark Warrick, vicar of Deeping St James and former chairman of our parish council.

Mark also has words of wisdom for those campaigning against travellers sites in the Deepings following the massive outcry against South Kesteven District Council's announcement which earmarked sites in the Deepings.

I posted most recently on this issue HERE.

Writing in this month's Priory News, the local church magazine Mark says:

The district is required to provide more spaces than at present for the accomodation of travelling people - there are simply not enough pitches for the number of people living the nomadic life, which is why there are so many illegal camps, of course: the caravans exist and have to be parked somewhere.

Given that the travellers' site will go somewhere in the district, our Councillors will need to hear comments from us on where they might best place the site. Comments like, "We don't want it here," while possibly expressing a true sentiment from some, will not really help them make up their minds, because they are going to hear that comment from every town they consult!

In order to have a really effective consultation, comments which suggest the suitability of one location over another are what the Council needs to hear, or some locations over some others. If all they get is a general hubbub of dissent then the consultation will have achieved very little.

A simple remark that, for example, the proximity of Grantham and Stamford to the A1 gives them an advantage from the travellers' viewpoint over Bourne or the Deepings, will be much more helpful to our Councillors than several pages about house prices and crime which will sound exactly the same in all four towns! They do not need telling that a travellers' site will be unpopular: they already know this.

Councillors have to make some difficult decisions and do not get many thanks for some of them: please pray often for our councillors at parish, district and county level, and especially at this time for Ken, Ray and Bryan our District Councillors and their colleagues as they struggle with this important and difficult matter.
I haven't yet heard the views of our district councillors - Tories Ray Auger and Bryan Helyar and LibDem Ken Joynson on this most thorny issue.

But they'll need all the help they can get on this one!


Anonymous said...

The Reverends remarks seem quite sensible to me.

fairdealphil said...

yes, probably his background and training as a town planner help...