The provision of processing temporary tolerated travel sites was a legal and moral obligation that the council had to undertake. Having permanents sites in full consultation of all the local communities including the traveller community was an important consideration for the council.
Historically unauthorised encampments have used TDC land, KCC land and private land; however there has been a growing tendency over the last couple of years to use TDC land. The Travellers Review Group was set up at the Overview & Scrutiny Panel to review and report back to the Panel on understanding of and an approach to managing the impact of Traveller unauthorised encampments in the Thanet area.
The review group were asked to investigate the impact of unauthorised encampments in Thanet and make recommendations to the Overview and Scrutiny Panel on what the Council could do to mitigate the impact of the unauthorised encampments (if necessary) whilst still meeting its obligations to local residents and the Travellers. There has been significant interest from stakeholders and local residents regarding a temporary tolerated site including commentary on suitability of sites, level of need and other locations. In order to capture this information and understand the views of all those with an interest in temporary stopping sites a robust engagement process is required.
The Local Plan has recently been adopted and is now subject to a review process. This process would include a defined consultation and the ability to place a general call to landowners to put forward sites for specific uses. Any sites put forward would be assessed for suitability after which a set of sites would be proposed to Members for public consultation.
Councillor Pugh and Councillor Bailey spoke under council procedure 20.1.
Councillor Whitehead proposed, Councillor Everitt seconded and Cabinet agreed the following:
2. That Officers continue with an officer and partner group, working with known groups of gypsies and travellers to address site access and behaviours.
The item was deferred to a future meeting.
Councillor Whitehead introduced the report noting that the Overview and Scrutiny Panel had commissioned a review group to develop an understanding of the impact of unauthorised Traveller encampments in the Thanet area.
The following Members spoke under Council Procedure 20.1: Councillors Campbell, Bailey and Rogers.
Councillor Whitehead proposed, Councillor Duckworth seconded and Cabinet agreed:
“That further work was undertaken to assess the feasibility and cost implications of three temporary tolerated sites in the District, at Potten Street, St Nicholas at Wade, Tivoli Brooks and Ramsgate Port, with a view to using them on a rotational basis.”
Report to follow.
Gavin Waite, Director of Operational Services introduced the item for discussion and advised Members that officers were going to provide the technical information relating to the review leading up to the recommendations made by the review group. Mr Waite then requested Eden Geddes, the former Community Safety Manager (now with the Multi-Agency Task Force) to introduce the legal framework for addressing the issue under review.
Mr Geddes made the following comments:
Contributing to the discussion, Penny Button, Head of Safer Neighbourhoods made the following comments:
Ms Lorraine Lucas and Ms Sonya Smyth spoke under the public speaking procedure rules.
The following Members spoke under Council Procedure Rule 20.1:
Councillor Stuart Piper;
Responding to the review report back Members made comments and ... view the full minutes text for item 209