Travellers problem

First published in Letters by

Once again, Selby District Council (SDC) are fumbling around trying to find a solution to the district-wide problem of how to accommodate travellers and gipsies.

Despite a long, detailed and expensive assessment of potential sites, SDC once again ignores its own advice and proposes to spend in excess of £1 million to extend the existing site at Burn to solve the problem.

But will it? The proposal, when combined with the existing site, will be bigger than the Government’s own advice on the recommended size for a travellers’ site, will be down a dark country lane with no lighting or footpath and have no local facilities.

All these were the reasons why the site was rejected as not acceptable in February 2011.

But 18 months later SDC, with little public consultation, and championed by Coun Mackman who has a vested interest in moving the problem from his ward, has suddenly changed its mind.

While this might seem on the surface as “nimbyism” by the residents of Burn, think again.

A village with no facilities or amenities means the impact of this proposal, should it go ahead, will be felt far wider in places like Brayton and Thorpe Willoughby.

Couple this with the fact that travellers themselves want to live in the west of the district, it soon becomes apparent this will be an expensive way of not solving the solution.

So, all things considered, Mackman Villas is not the travellers’ answer.

Chris Phillipson, chair, Burn Parish Council.

Phil Storr, vice-chair, Burn Parish Council.


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