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Travellers and Gypsies facing overcrowding in Lincolnshire

By Sleaford Target  |  Posted: December 10, 2013

Travellers and Gypsies facing overcrowding in Lincolnshire
Comments (8)

MORE than 20 caravan pitches and 10 houses are needed to support growing Gypsy and Traveller communities in the North Kesteven area, according to a new report.

The district council has been looking into the housing needs of the Gypsy and Traveller population over the next 20 years.

It has found Traveller families are expanding and others are coming into the area, which is expected to lead to overcrowding at the current facilities available.

North Kesteven District Council hopes farmers in Sleaford and other areas could put their own private land forward for caravan sites or development, effectively becoming landlords for traveller sites.

A council spokesman said:"The council anticipates that all of the pitches will be met through private development – as is the case with current provision – rather than by the council building and operating them.

"Specific locations have not yet been identified, but there is a preference that they should be along main A road routes, within small sites, alongside or near to established family units and at a distance from settled communities.

"The process of allocating land will be undertaken separately over the coming year."

However Mark Smith, of Monks Wood Farm in Sleaford, said farmers may be reluctant to change the use of their farming land.

"I don't think it would happen because it will be a hassle, for lack of a better word," Mr Smith said.

"We have a field behind the house and we don't use it all times of the year.

"If we had people pitching up with caravans for eight months of the year it would be problematic.

"Since we would have people up and down our drive all day it wouldn't just affect farmers, it would affect other businesses as well.

"But technically we are tenant farmers, so if we got told we would kind of have to put up and shut up."

Nick Mountain, managing director at MC Mountain and Son Limited in Quarrington, added: "It would be something the council would have to buy and lease back to the Traveller community, if farmers are interested.

"I can understand the plight of Traveller communities, like everyone else they need more houses."

The housing assessment report carried out by the council also recommended the City of Lincoln Council and West Lindsey District Council to increase their provision for Gypsies and Travellers.

The report found that more than 70 pitches, 35 houses and one "travelling people's show yard" are needed across Lincolnshire over the next two decades on top of current sites, to prevent overcrowding.

In a first for the county, 'temporary stopping places' could also be created, to help stop families on the move having to use illegal sites.

The Central Lincolnshire Joint Planning Committee approved the report on Monday, December 9.

It means that North Kesteven, West Lindsey and the City of Lincoln councils will all take on the recommendations.

The housing report will now be scrutinised by a Government inspector.

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  • InsideStory  |  December 11 2013, 6:40PM

    Many people who live in Kesteven are facing over crowding and they pay income tax and council tax by law but is the Kesteven Council doing anything to solve their problem ?

    Rate   4
  • Pete67  |  December 11 2013, 4:56PM

    I remember when I was young living in the South of the West Riding in a mining town The Romany Gypsies used to come once a year. The Women used to sell pegs and heather etc, and the Men used to work on the farms or anything else people wanted doing. They gave no trouble at all. Later on though a set of Travellers came at a later date than the Gypsies and gave nothing but problems to the locals. That is why I've always differentiated between the Romany Gipsies and the Travellers. Unfortunately they seem to have become one people these days, and it has made the World of difference to their welcoming.

    Rate   4
  • Lavengro  |  December 11 2013, 12:41PM

    It would really help if people commenting on boards such as this made even a cursory effort to get some facts straight. Gypsies and Travellers living on council owned sites (the vast majority) pay rent and council tax. Overpay for electricity as they have no option but prepay meters (which costs more), and cannot go online to change their gas supplier as gas comes in bottles. These are facts. Councils have to ensure there is sufficent site provision, most fail leading to unauthorised encampments. Fact. As for (frankly) idiotic comments around "lifestyle choice", are people living is council housing making a lifestyle choice as well? Should we not fund that "lifestyle"? Clearly most of these comments owe more to the racial bias held by the posters than to a reasoned assessment of the facts. The Romani people have been in the UK for 500 years. Fact. Some need to accept that fact. Fact. This entire island is made up of immigrants (Anglo-Saxon anyone?) including the Royal family. Fact I will leave you now to rabidly vote my comments down in spite of the facts.

    Rate   -4
  • Blue_Mooner  |  December 11 2013, 9:59AM

    What a farce. Why should those who choose to opt out of society and contribute yet still access services which the majority pay for through taxes (be it income tax, council tax or National insurance) like council services, highways, NHS, schooling - be given this without having to pay for it? I want to opt out of paying my taxes but imagine I'd get imprisoned for that. Council money wasted and diverted from truly needed causes. When are the next elections???

    Rate   6
  • Pete67  |  December 11 2013, 8:57AM

    JaneThompson - - - Many of the ones who are Irish Travellers have their own houses over in Ireland, but come over here to make their money. It has been well documented in the papers, and also on television. Many of them are apparently very well off, but refuse to give up their lifestyle, but Ireland is apparently more strict on their activities than England.

    Rate   1
  • InsideStory  |  December 10 2013, 7:28PM

    Your having a laugh at the taxpayers expense .A friend of mine needed help last Christmas has i have said before and to this day Kesteven County Council have not contacted her regarding housing and she has two children so why should they be bothered about someone who chooses not to pay taxes like everyone else . I do not give consent for the council to use any of the money i have paid in taxes to fund this project ,please put this to a public vote .

    Rate   26
  • Pete67  |  December 10 2013, 6:41PM

    I have a rather silly question - I know some Gypsies sometimes settle into houses, but why would Travellers need one. Doesn't a Traveller travel?

    Rate   20
  • JaneThompson  |  December 10 2013, 6:37PM

    Why? Why can't get they travel somewhere else or buy their own property? Why should the taxpayer foot the bill for their lifestyle choice?

    Rate   27