The council are planning to set up a permanent, three-month-stay Gypsy ‘transit’ camp by a site where travellers have been squatting every Spring for the last three years.
Cops hit out at the council in March 2013 after they didn’t move a group off travellers off South Treviddo Farm, Horningtops, near Liskeard.
Inspector Tony Joslin said petty thefts increased and there were minor upsets with locals – with groups of gypsies asking to use the Lux Park showers and a row in Morrisons.
The land’s council-owned and rented by a farmer.
Locals complained of ‘dogs running around’ loose and mess, and the police complained the council faffed about with ‘welfare assessments’ instead of giving 48 hours notice to quit.
Now the local authority have announced South Treviddo will become a permanent ‘transit site’ for Gypsies.
They’re inviting local people to come to a “public exhibition” in Liskeard and voice their opinions on the “authorised and managed Gypsy and Traveller transit site”
It’s a Cornwall Housing initiative. The highly paid MD, senior bureaucrat Jane Barlow, says she wants to ‘get the views of those who live around the area”
There’s no indication the local community have a choice in the matter. Housing chief Geoff Brown touted the permanent camp as the only alternative to squatting.
In its Summer 2013 newsletter, Jane and her ‘Chair’ (chairman) Nick Ball chose for the first item (p3) to be an advert for the long discredited, socially divisive domestic violence industry – inferring that council tenants top priority should be to police their own behaviour in personal relationships, rather than emphasising any responsibility on behalf of their landlady to allow them a choice in planning matters that affect them.
Barlow, a career feminist, said: “We really want people to come and see the details; speak to representatives from Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing and give their views. We have spoken informally with the local parish councils and Cornwall councillors and we have written to those immediately in the vicinity of the proposed site. We now want to get the views of those who live in and around the area.”
She said the councils ‘statutory responsibility’ was to provide gypsy sites, with ‘basic facilities’, such as ‘toilets and a water supply’.
Housing chief Geoff Brown said: ““Cornwall Council is committed to ensuring that members of the travelling communities have the same rights and responsibilities as every other person.
“Properly managed sites will benefit Gypsies and Travellers and the local settled community alike.
“They will reduce the number of unauthorised encampments that sometimes cause problems and increase the potential risk of tensions between Gypsies and Travellers and the local population.
“Unauthorised sites also raise concern amongst many that some in the Gypsy and Traveller population do not abide by the planning system.
“By providing properly managed sites, there is an alternative for Gypsies and Travellers rather than taking the unauthorised route.
There is an urgent need for a managed transit site and this piece of Council owned land is available and suitable because of its accessibility and location for a short stay transit site for no more than 15 families.”
South Treviddo is near Liskeard on the junction of the Looe Road with the A30.
After the public consultation, the transit site proposal will be subject to the full planning process.
A council spokeswoman said there’d be more sites as time went on.
She explained: “The council will be bringing forward further proposed locations in other parts of Cornwall as it works to provide a network of small sites to meet existing needs and to address unauthorised encampments.”
The exhibition will be held in the Long Room, Public Hall, 3-5 West Street, Liskeard PL14 6BW on Thursday 10 April from 10am to 6pm.