1:42pm Thursday 29th March 2012
Having recently made a visit to the new local authority site for travellers in Colchester, which after many years is nearing completion, I must disagree with the comment made by Stewart St Clair Pearce.
This statement proved Mr St Clair Pearce has not visited many other sites built for travellers.
Many built in earlier years were put in the most inappropriate places, places where no human being should ever be made to live.
It also proved Mr St Clair Pearce is not a traveller.
He is happy to live in a house, whereas some travellers are more comfortable living in a way that is more akin to their ethnic culture.
Perhaps I am in the minority, but I am pleased, at long last, this site is almost completed.
Even if I am in the minority of one, the truth is more site provision is needed for members of the travelling community.
I read previously of the new traveller unit to be run by Essex County Council.
Colchester and Tendring have decided to join this group.
It has been said a similar unit in Northamptonshire was an outstanding success.
However, after having made inquiries I learned this wasn’t quite true.
A vast amount of public money has been wasted over the years on various groups and consultations with very little benefit.
I sincerely hope this new site will prove to be a success for Essex County Council and the lease of the land from Colchester Council will eventually be extended.
It has been reported large discounts are to be given to people who live in council owned properties for at least five years, should they wish to purchase them.
Traveller site provision is now to be incorporated into the new planning guidance documents.
Therefore, after families have lived on the site for at least five years they should, by right, be allowed to purchase their individual pitch from the council at a discounted rate.
Perhaps in years to come this local authority site will become a private site in the same way many council estates of the past now have properties owned by their occupants.
I look forward to meeting the new residents at this site.
Hopefully they will be made welcome in the local community they will become a part of.
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