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Travellers’ site funding anger
PLANS to expand a York travellers site would cost the city council too much despite thousands of pounds of support from the Government, a local councillor has claimed.
He said he wanted to highlight his “distaste” at budget proposals to invest £628,000 of Government and council funding on the expansion – York council successfully won almost £350,000 of Government money towards the costs.+ Figures from 2010-2011 showed that of the £36,054.72 owed in rent or charges by the Osbaldwick site, £27,240.48 was covered by housing benefits, so the council only collected £9,003. Coun Warters said any expansion would not bring enough revenue to the council to recoup the costs.
Councillor Sonja Crisp told Coun Warters at the meeting: “I found it quite unsettling that an elected member of the county council spoke as though some residents of the community are less entitled to housing than others. Addressing the needs of gypsies and travellers is just as necessary as addressing the needs of other residents. “Isolating a community in that way is unsettling. We should all start thinking about saving this community and not these stupid attacks we see from time to time.”
Speaking after the meeting, Coun Warters said: “This is not an attack on the gypsies, this is an attack on the administration.
“I want to ask the council, can York afford any more of these pitches in the current climate, given how much they cost and what is recouped from them?
“The vast majority of York council tax payers are facing increased bils and reduced services, and I would challenge them to justify these costs associated with, most certainly, the Osbaldwick caravan site.”
As previously reported, the council also wants to provide a play area and create official grazing land for horses.
The proposal, involving draft green belt land alongside the existing site, will still need planning permission from council planners.