Green MP jeered at Patcham meeting about travellers

Posted On 13 Apr 2012 at 7:47 pm

Green MP Caroline Lucas was jeered at a public meeting about travellers this evening (Friday 13 April).

She spoke up for her party from the floor as Councillor Bill Randall, the Green leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, defended its position from the platform.

As the audience of about 200 people became heated, Hove Conservative MP Mike Weatherley called for calm.

Dr Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, was defending her party’s handling of unauthorised travellers camps since it won control of the council almost a year ago.

She was speaking at a meeting called by Mr Weatherley to discuss what he described as “the Green Party’s soft stance on the illegal invasion of our parks by travellers”.

He said that he had called the meeting – at Patcham Community Centre in Ladies Mile Road – in response to proposals for a permanent camp for travellers and gypsies at Horsdean.

The Horsdean transit camp

The site is next to the existing transit camp for travellers, just inside the South Downs National Park close to the junction of the A23 London Road and the A27 Brighton bypass.

Mr Weatherley said before the meeting: “Travellers took over another piece of public open space last month when they illegally occupied Greenleas Park in Hangleton.

“The Green administration claims that the construction of yet another publicly funded traveller site would stop such invasions yet there were actually spaces available for travellers at the current site at Horsdean.

“Rather than stay at the site which is already there for them, the travellers chose to pitch up for free in the middle of a public park.

“Residents have quite frankly had enough of travellers infringing the law at their expense.

“While I am pleased that the travellers moved on, I am deeply concerned by the delayed reaction of Brighton and Hove City Council and Sussex Police on this issue.

“In future travellers should be moved on within the hour, not after days, weeks or months.”

Conservative Councillor Graham Cox told the meeting that some travellers owned property in Ireland.

He would like to see them encouraged to buy small dedicated plots locally so that they would be less likely to occupy parks and open spaces.

He was concerned that a ghetto was being created in Horsdean.

The chairman of Patcham Football Club told the meeting that the last illegal encampment had stopped 180 local children playing football.

  1. peckhampulse Reply

    I must have missed the quotes from Caroline Lucas. I am sure your reporter is not biased and didnt give the Greens side of the story. Must be that right wing computer of mine.

  2. Valerie Paynter, Reply

    Horsdean was first put in place by Labour many years ago. It was then taken out of use and then put back into use by the CONSERVATIVES (!) during their time in power just before the Greens took over.

    It is saddening to me that what has gone on for years was never properly tackled by either Labour or the Conservatives in the past and that somehow it is all the fault of the Greens.

    Politicians making capital out of people’s lack of context knowledge of how we got to where we are is cynical and totally about the newly rearranged constituency boundaries. Mike Weatherley is doing what he feels he needs to in Patcham because it will be in his ‘Hove’ constituency next time. Hence this meeting! But for me, it is drawing attention to past failures by his party!

    How come neither Labour or the Conservatives ever felt the need to jump up and down about travellers in the past? WHY!? And are things as bad as they are BECAUSE of these past failures?

  3. clive Reply

    There is also the strange spectacle of a Tory MP complaining about lack of police action when his party are cutting police funding, to the point where the professionals involved have gone very public on it. How does that look for the ‘party of law and order’?

    A thought: if Caroline Lucas were to hold a meeting at the Ralli Hall (currently in Mike Weatherley’s constituency) on, say, the NHS, would Mike Weatherley have the balls to turn up and defend the government’s position from the floor? I doubt it.

  4. bryan brown Reply

    it saddens me deeply when i see these people hounded and made scapegoats for what is nothing more than bigoted ill informed whining idiots. we should learn from the past and remember when you rant on about the nazi fools who where a huge force once that it was the travellers who where abused first then it moved on to anyone who didnt fit in with the way the nazis wanted to do BUSINESS and the rest. there are real matters to rant about like sending young boys and i say boys as they have not had a chance to make a rationally informed opinion of the world and played too many war games which are just recruitment drives for this nonsensical war in east,im sick of seeing coffins coming home full of brainwashed kids fighting for the new world order,please fellow humans get a grip on reality and leave these people alone,it seems to be a case of your free to do as we tell you. ive met a lot of travellers and they are nice welcoming clean(if that means anything) and an examlple of a more eco friendly way of life that revolves around caring and sharing where as most in my street dont even know their neighbours. . . . its this society thats sick not them. never mind go bury your head in coronation st and read the scum newspaper,im off to buy a caravan!!!!!

  5. 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 ..

  6. anonymous Reply

    i just bene to get a pitch at the Horsedean plot and it had 5 plots taken the security guy clearly would not let me in recommended i contacted the help line … bugger that i know Stanmer park is a nice location for a weekend holiday

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