Grants to help parish councils evict travellers

The travellers site at Sidlesham's recreation ground'''Picture by Louise Adams C130647-1 Chi Travellers
The travellers site at Sidlesham's recreation ground'''Picture by Louise Adams C130647-1 Chi Travellers
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THE district council voted to release a pot of money to parish councils struggling to cope with traveller encampments.

At a Chichester District Council meeting on Tuesday (May 21), Cllr Janet Duncton proposed a recommendation to approve the release of £30,000 from reserves to help parish councils in the area.

The money would be used to help parish councils secure evictions and to provide facilities such as waste containers and portable toilets to minimise clean up costs.

The council will also provide a grant of up to £1,000 to parish councils protecting their land from encampment by travellers.

Initially, the recommendation stated only areas with a ‘persistent’ problem would get the grant but Cllr Simon Oakley said the word ‘persistent’ should be deleted – and his proposal to remove it was successful.

Cllr Anna Scicluna agreed, and said she was concerned as it ‘persistent’ problems with encampments would mean there is a criteria which somebody would have to judge.

“To my mind the word persistent means more than once, and I think once is enough for some parish councils.”

The move means parish councils will get financial support from the district council if travellers move onto their land, rather than paying for it out of reserves.

Despite calls from Sussex police and crime commissioner Katy Bourne, there was no mention of progress in finding a designated traveller site.