Brighton and Hove Greens challenged over gypsies and travellers

Posted On 26 May 2011 at 1:12 am

The ruling Greens are being asked to make their position clear on travellers as four sites in Brighton and Hove are occupied without permission.

The request comes from the Conservative opposition leader on Brighton and Hove City Council Geoffrey Theobald.

Councillor Theobald said that he was seeking greater clarity from the Greens after the emergency meeting last Friday (20 May) to decide whether t evict a group from Woollard’s Field inflamer.

The Green group voted overwhelmingly to evict the travellers from the site The Keep, the proposed archive for East Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove.

Council repairs

Councillor Theobald said that the Green councillors made their decision despite an early day motion in the House of Commons by the party leader and Green MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas.

The motion called for traveller encampments to be tolerated if suitable permanent sites were not available.

Councillor Theobald said that he welcomed the apparent u-turn by Green councillors and added: “I think we need a bit of clarity and consistency from the Green Party on this issue.

“I am pleased that the encampment will be moved on from Woollard’s Field but there are also further unlawful encampments at East Brighton Park, Stanley Deason Leisure Centre and Wild Park.

“Residents will want to know what their position is on these sites and whether the encampments will be tolerated.

“I am very concerned that the mixed messages being sent out by the Green administration will simply lead to many more travellers coming down to Brighton and Hove.”

He added: “If they have to hold an emergency meeting every time there is an unlawful traveller encampment in the city then they are going to be spending an awful lot of time in meetings.”

  1. SuperSillyDad Reply

    We have laws to enable us to function as a cohesive society our problem is the selective application of the law. Travelers should be able to access sufficient agreed sites and in so doing adhere to the law. Local councils and residents should ensure these sites exist.
    Personally I am looking at some twenty plus mobile homes parked on parkland preventing its use by local children. I am also seeing cars, vans and trucks driving more than 100metres along a pavement for pedestrians used by all ages and abilities throughout the day. So I assume the law on this single issue has changed and I and others may drive down this walkway without fear of prosecution.
    If nothing else is possible continuity should be.
    Travelers have a right to travel and abide a while but not at the expense of ignoring the law. I have no problem with their camping in the park, but local bye laws prohibit it. Their creation of wind born litter offends me but also breaks the law. The use of the pavement as a road is indefensible, placing others at risk not only on this pavement but because many risk crossing the main road to avoid having to dodge vehicles.
    The law fails us all if not applied and suggests to us all that we may ignore it without peril.

  2. Valerie Paynter, saveHOVE Reply

    I fear travellers round the country will want to test the Greens’ tolerance and welcome levels. Residents in Hove are fearful of seeing squares full of vans, tents, caravans.

    During WW2 perimeter cast-iron fencing was removed from our squares and parks for the war effort. Perhaps time they were reinstated – and funded by public subscription.

  3. Anna Solidum Reply

    I’m writing from Vancouver, BC, Canada. I’m currently watching a show called, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. The plight of the Travellers is saddening. I realize the situation for tax paying residents must be frustrating but the destruction of people’s homes is cruel and an affront to humanity. Good luck with your efforts, I hope you can find a way to work with the Travellers and find a peaceable and equitable solution.

  4. Mr Smith Reply

    ohh wow the traveling community are back in brighton Wild Park in Moulsecoomb i wonder if it was money issues that mean that little preventative bump hump along Wild Park in Moulsecoomb , its going to cost the council a lot more now to remove them / clear up after the travelers have gone ..

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