Brighton councillor urges cross-party action on travellers

Posted On 20 Jun 2014 at 6:10 am
By Christina Summers

Something is frighteningly wrong when residents and small business owners tell me that their property is constantly under attack by Travellers and that they fear for their personal safety, but that the police are failing to offer any kind of protection, assurance or even presence when an incident is faithfully reported.

As ward councillor for Hollingdean and Stanmer, where the majority of incursions are taking place seemingly at a relentless frequency and increasing size, my overriding mandated duty is to advocate on behalf of local people irrespective of my own views on Travellers or the views of council officers and police. That is my job.

Since the services that deal with this issue, and that residents have paid for, aren’t working I believe it is surely now time to escalate everyone’s grievances, and I sincerely hope that my councillor and MP colleagues across the political spectrum would agree.

There is no one single solution to this so no party should ever claim to have the silver bullet, nor should any councillor work exclusively to protect their own patch – this is a citywide problem.

As such I am addressing several possibilities some of which have previously been proposed but, for some reason or other, were rejected or shelved. These include

  • Designating our parks as “sensitive sites” to enable immediate eviction
  • Proposing a byelaw that will protect our parks
  • Appealing to neighbouring authorities to work in partnership and share the load
  • Identifying unused derelict sites on the periphery as an interim solution
  • Putting pressure on the police and crime commissioner to intervene and take direct urgent action

I hope that residents will encourage their ward councillors to agree to these and others as part of an urgent cross-party action plan.

www.cllrsummers.com

Councillor Christina Summers, Jacob the shire horse and Emma Holloway

Councillor Christina Summers, Jacob the shire horse and Emma Holloway

  1. Ron Sharratt Reply

    I applaud Councillor Summers in her call for cross-party action on this important issue. For a long time now parties have been trying to score points against each other instead of getting together to share ideas and take some action on this matter.

  2. Ron Sharratt Reply

    I applaud Councillor Summers in her call for cross-party action on this important issue. For a long time now parties have been trying to score points against each other instead of getting together to share ideas and take some action on this matter.

  3. richard bird Reply

    During the late 90’s and early 2000’s I worked in a private security company based in the southern home counties. We made many thousands of pounds working for both councils and private companies who experienced the total lack of any support from the police.

    It is now 2014

    The travellers looked at the south coast as a ‘soft touch’

    It seems they are right

  4. richard bird Reply

    During the late 90’s and early 2000’s I worked in a private security company based in the southern home counties. We made many thousands of pounds working for both councils and private companies who experienced the total lack of any support from the police.

    It is now 2014

    The travellers looked at the south coast as a ‘soft touch’

    It seems they are right

  5. Joy Flowers Reply

    Yes, let’s sort the expensive and unpleasant problem once and for all please.

  6. Joy Flowers Reply

    Yes, let’s sort the expensive and unpleasant problem once and for all please.

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