Gypsy Sites must be properly built and properly controlled

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Warwickshire County Councillor recently stated on the radio that, while the county was in need of more Gypsy site that those need to be properly built and properly controlled by the Council.

In other words, what the councillor is saying is “no Gypsy-owned and Gypsy-run private caravan sites”, as the one recently attempted near the former home of government minister Tessa Jowell.

While I would not condone the actions taken by the, apparently, Romany who have set up camp there and are building a caravan site it would appear that time and again this seems to be the message that is being sent out. If Gypsies (and Travellers) want to make their own provisions for sites of their own, even to such an extent of purchasing a proper caravan site as was, as I understand, the case with the Cordona family some years back in Bedfordshire, the authorities then go to all lengths to stop such private sites, even by claiming that a once 24/7 all year round residential trailer park becomes a “change of use” if it is turned into a Gypsy Caravan Site. Duh? So, in other words, when is a residential caravan site not a residential caravan site? When it is turned into a Gypsy Site, apparently. A brilliant excuse and move of goalpost.

The reasons behind this here appears to be to fulfill a quota now, once again, set by central government, namely to put up that and that many pitches for Gypsies and Travellers in an area, as now housing provisions for Gypsies and Travellers seem to have been made a requirement for councils again.

This means that council must provide a set number of plots and obviously do not want interference by the Gyppo here and do not want the people to set up their own sites. Where would we come to if we would allow that now? We would have no control of who lives there and we would get no rent income.

On a private site the council has very little, if anything, to say about who lives there, unlike on an official council site and, as I said, they have also no income from such as site by way of rent; only council tax. It is, however, in the main, I am convinced, a case of wanting to have control over the wayward Gyppo. Gyppo can't be allowed to do his own thing now. What would the world be coming to if that would be allowed.

A privately owned Gypsy site could, for instance, exclude Irish Travellers and therefore prevent the enforced mixing of the groups in an attempt to promote the false idea of a common traveller culture. There is no such things as anything in common as far as Culture goes between the Romani and the Irish Traveller. But this “common traveller culture” is all part of the bigger plan to remove the ethnic Gypsy from the statute book.

© M Smith (Veshengro), May 2008