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Carrick Housing wins funding to develop new Gypsy and Traveller sites in Cornwall

Carrick Housing has been successful in bidding for funding to develop new Gypsy and Traveller sites in Cornwall.

Supported by Cornwall Council, Carrick Housing, the Arms Length Management Organisation which manages the Council’s homes in the former Carrick District, has been successful in bidding for funding from the Homes and Communities Agency for new Gypsy and Traveller sites in Cornwall.  Funding of £1.24m has been allocated to Carrick Housing to deliver 30 new pitches in Cornwall for Romany Gypsies, Irish Travellers and New Travellers.  It will now work with local members, town and parish councils and the Gypsy and Traveller communities to identify suitable areas for the creation of sites in Cornwall.

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Cornwall Council, along with every other local authority in the country, has a duty to provide suitable sites to meet the needs of its Gypsy and Traveller community.  Cornwall has a history of unauthorised encampments and a lack of regulated alternative sites to move people on to.  Government funding has been made available to provide new sites which Carrick Housing has bid for, to address the accommodation needs of our Gypsies and Travellers.

It is hoped that a network of small sites can be developed across Cornwall to meet existing needs and to address unauthorised encampments.

Mark Kaczmarek, Cornwall Council’s cabinet member for housing and planning says: “Cornwall Council is committed to ensuring that members of the travelling communities have the same rights, including fair access to education for their children and health services, and responsibilities as every other person. We want to find small sites of between 5-10 pitches, probably on council owned land, in consultation with local members and town and parish councils. Carrick Housing and the Council will then take forward the most viable which take into account how the sites could link into the existing infrastructure. New sites will be properly managed sites which will benefit Gypsies and Travellers and the local settled community alike. Gypsies and Travellers and the settled community can work together and we’ve all got something in common in wanting our children to be healthy and educated.

There is no doubt that unauthorised sites can on occasion cause problems and increase the potential risk of tensions between Gypsies and Travellers and the local population. Unauthorised sites also raise concern amongst many that some in the Gypsy and Traveller population do not abide by the planning system.Such concerns receive widespread coverage in local and national media which further ratchets up tensions between the travelling and local communities. We need to help provide properly managed sites so that there is an alternative for Gypsies and Travellers, rather than taking the unauthorised route.

Cornwall Council wants to recognise and protect the traditional way of life of the travelling communities while respecting the interests of the settled community. We need to have more authorised sites for Gypsies and Travellers in appropriate locations. This in turn will reduce the number of unauthorised encampments and developments and the conflict and controversy they can sometimes cause.”

 

Story posted 06 January 2012

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