Special Council meeting called to debate traveller sites plan

A Special Meeting of Bath and North East Somerset Council has been called for 1pm, Monday the 18th June, to debate the authority’s controversial gypsy and traveller sites plan.

The meeting has been called following a request by Conservative councillors, who have raised a number of concerns about the council’s proposals.  It is believed to be the first time a Special Council Meeting has been called since B&NES was formed in 1996.

 

Conservatives have said that they believe all councillors should get the chance to debate the plans after the authority’s Liberal Democrat Cabinet ignored a request by a Council scrutiny panel to halt its consultation.  Conservatives have also criticised the council’s proposed list of sites for failing to accord with Government guidelines on the allocation of gypsy and traveller sites.

 

B&NES Conservative Group Leader, Cllr Francine Haeberling, said:

 

“The council’s traveller site selection process has been flawed from start to finish, and the Liberal Democrat Cabinet has shown it is not willing to listen to the reasonable arguments put to them by local residents.  Conservatives therefore took the rare step of calling a Special Meeting of the Council to ensure that the concerns of local people are heard and the issue debated by all councillors.

 

“Given the impact these plans are already having on the lives of residents and businesses living near the proposed traveller sites, the council should call a halt to its plans until the whole Council has had the chance to debate the plans and give its view.  Many of the current sites do not meet Government criteria, and so Conservatives will be urging the council to restart the process and come up with a more suitable list of sites.”