Over 250 people packed a public meeting regarding plans for a caravan site for Gypsies.
The open meeting at Wybunbury Village Hall followed concern over a scheme for a five-acre caravan site in Wybunbury Lane at Stapeley, Nantwich.
The meeting was set up by residents who have formed the “Wybunbury and Stapeley Caravan Park Action Group” in a bid to fight the plans.
The group are objecting, saying the site has only ever been used for agriculture. They add there is a Site of Special Scientific Interest on the lane and nearby ponds have been noted as being the habitat of protected great crested newts.
I do not know why the worry as to the great crested newt. Gypsies never have been known for eating them; now hedgehogs, that is a different story.
During the public meeting, questions and views were offered from the Gypsy community as well as residents.
Romany-Gypsy told to “go back to where you belong”
Action group chairman Jimmy Rowlinson was challenged over the use of the word ‘Gypsy’ on flyers advertising the meeting by Romany Joe Smith, of Hunsterson.
Mr Smith said: “The meeting opened a lot of people’s eyes. I was asked to leave the floor after just one question and I was hissed and booed at.
“The fact they use the word ‘Gypsy’ just infuriates people. There were definitely undertones surfacing at this meeting as I was told to go back to where I belong. Well, I’ve lived in Hunsterson for 32 years and people like me and the residents there know who I am and where I came from and there isn’t a problem.”
Mr Rowlinson said: “The word ‘Gypsy’ was used on the flyers because the planning application referred to a ‘Gypsy Caravan Park’.
“The action group would be opposed to any application for development which affects the rural character of Wybunbury Lane.”
There are definite undertones in Britain now as well, in some areas at least, that see Romany-Gypsies as people who should go back to where they belong. Now someone please tell us where that be. We do NOT have a homeland but if someone would b e good enough to give up a piece – or should we cease some land like the Jews did? - we'd probably be happy enough to settle there. Then again, why should we and why should we even have to consider that?
© M Smith (Veshengro), May 2008