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Where should travellers live?

11:24 UK time, Saturday, 15 January 2011

Residents of villages across England are meeting in Warwickshire to discuss ways of stopping travellers building on green-belt land without permission. Should more authorised sites be provided?

The Environment Secretary, Caroline Spelman, says that new government legislation will address the concerns of everyone involved.

A representative of travellers has accused the protesters in Meriden, Warwickshire, of racism, arguing that the land was owned by the travellers who live there.

How much land should be given to travellers? How should the government address the problem? Do you live near a travellers' site?

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 6.

    Some travellers actually have houses in Ireland and come over here to claim benefit and the like during their season, (as they call it).
    Those travellers who want to live on a site should obviously cease to be travellers by definition because they are now static. They should then be regarded the same as any other claimants and not be given special status.
    Many of the police feel frustrated because they know travellers who are anti-social and commit crimesm, and yet they know that after hours of processing paper work there will be no action taken against the wrong doers.
    The traveller problem is the second biggest gripe that the man in the street has and yet officials constantly turn a blind eye because they regard the problem as too complex.

  • Comment number 7.

    They should live on land legally owned or rented to them, subject to all the proper planning permissions and building regulations.
    They should pay council tax as required. As long as they abide by the law and rules and regulations everybody else has to, then I'm fine with that.
    Some travellers are their own worst enemies, turning fields and parking areas into tips. Thankfully they are not all like that.

  • Comment number 8.

    The problem with the travelling community is that however many of them may be law-abiding or whatever, they provide a community within which others can easily and safely disappear. They have their own laws, and laws which the rest of us abide by they do not believe affect them.

    Some of them keep horses, and some of these are clearly well and kindly looked after.

    I have seen an incredibly skinny dog with its backbone easily visible through its coat on a lead with travellers - who do you report it to, who would deal with it? Some of them certainly steal specific breeds of dog, particularly if they are not neutered.

    They do not pay tax and NICs. Everyone else is expected to contribute, and money seldom seems to be a problem for them.

    Regardless of who owns the land, if it is green belt, I thought restrictions on land apply to everyone.

    They would find people would have more time for them if they obeyed the laws which apply to everyone - including them.

    People are not being racist. They are fearful of criminals and angry at unfair preferential treatment for people who contribute - what?








  • Comment number 9.

    Even Richard Grey has managed to break the house rules. Who is doing the moderating - have the travellers got in?

  • Comment number 10.

    As the term 'Traveller' implies that these are communities travel, does it not follow then that:

    1) Travellers should not be allowed to build where static communities are not, and therefore, when they do they should receive the same treatment as a settled resident would

    2) though Local Authority should not exempt itself from the legal duty to provide adequate Traveller site facilities, with water and latrine blocks., where a specific group of Travellers causes damage, its vehicles and other valuables should be impounded until they remedy the damage and indemnify the proprietors, or else sold to compensate the complainant(s) of any losses or disbenefit.

    As I see it, Travellers have the right to exist, to dignity and respect, tot he protection of the law and basic care, if in need.

    Equally, though, they must be required to contribute in some measure to the costs of their accommodation and abide by the same laws that other citizens, residents and visitors are subject to, with all the penalties and remedies provided by the law.

    I would suggest that Traveller communities should be required to attend workshops on their rights and duties, as a condition of temporary residence in a locality and each adult made to sign undertakings, also on behalf of any minors in their care, including their names, age and gender - that acknowledge the penalties, fines and other consequences for not complying.

    Alternatively, where a specific community has been known to abuse their position, they should be compelled to pay a hefty f=deposit before being allowed to camp in a given district or parish.
    I know it's easier said than done, but a nomadic life is a right like any other lifestyle and should accommodated where it is possible and sensible, but without infringing the rights of static, settled communities.

  • Comment number 11.

    Why should anything be given to travellers? There are lots of hard-working people in the country, who are not only given nothing, they have most of what they earn "taken" from them by the government.
    If they do start giving land to travellers ~ I'm buying a nasty old caravan - and will register myself as a traveller - I'd like a free plot of land too!! (preferably somewhere lovely and rural overlooking a nice valley)

  • Comment number 12.

    If the travellers buy land with planning permission I see no reason for them not to build, we seem to welcome with open arms any Mohammed, Franciose or Silvio to these shores but wish to exclude people who've been here for centuries. Any sites allocated to this community for temporary residence should be provided with facilities for water,waste and toilet so local people won't see any "mess", presently not enough is done to support these folk who need stopover places as driving with a tow attached can be very tiring and with no facilities provided by councils the mess will obviously accrue.

    Todays BBC news had a story about the lack of "real" affordable housing. I can see a time not too far in the future where caravans will be the living quarters of the working classes as we'll have no option but to chase down our newest minimum wage job nationwide thanks to coalition policies on the merits of ethnically cleansing inner city dwellings. Over to those poor people in S.E. England who live the fairy tale of high wages and affordable half million pound homes.

  • Comment number 13.

    I think it is high time the government legislated to prevent travellers buying land, circumventing the existing planning rules and installing themselves in sites where they are a blight on the community, whilst simultaneously indulging in lengthy legal wrangles to gain retrospective planning permission.
    The government also have to legislate to make the removal of illegal sites quicker and to find a way of making the travellers financially accountable for the damage they do.
    More authorised sites might help, but I do not think that Local Authorities should be under any legal obligation to provide them. If travellers wish to have purpose built sites they should apply for outline planning permission before completing the purchase of the land and pay for the site themselves.

  • Comment number 14.

    At 12:08pm on 15 Jan 2011, ruffled_feathers wrote:
    The problem with the travelling community is that however many of them may be law-abiding or whatever, they provide a community within which others can easily and safely disappear. They have their own laws, and laws which the rest of us abide by they do not believe affect them.

    Some of them keep horses, and some of these are clearly well and kindly looked after.

    I have seen an incredibly skinny dog with its backbone easily visible through its coat on a lead with travellers - who do you report it to, who would deal with it? Some of them certainly steal specific breeds of dog, particularly if they are not neutered.

    They do not pay tax and NICs. Everyone else is expected to contribute, and money seldom seems to be a problem for them.

    Regardless of who owns the land, if it is green belt, I thought restrictions on land apply to everyone.

    They would find people would have more time for them if they obeyed the laws which apply to everyone - including them.

    People are not being racist. They are fearful of criminals and angry at unfair preferential treatment for people who contribute - what?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Hmmmm....not much difference between them and non-travellers, then??

  • Comment number 15.

    What a week it has been for BBC HYS posters! I bet they can't believe their luck. We've had bashing and blaming The long term unemployed, social security scroungers, the disabled and those on incapacity benefit and now the traveller community! Let me guess, criminals or paedophiles for Monday?

  • Comment number 16.

    No land should be "given" to anyone, but more sites should be provided. The problem is that communities don't want them in their neighbourhood because of the reputation, crime and property devaluation the supposedly comes witha traveller site.

    The problem is that communities essentially have a 'problem' with travellers, and the community itself is insular and sometimes it's members operate at the edges of the law.

    I think the way forward is to invest in community relations between communities and travellers, but provide sites with clear rules and boundaries and a zero tolerance approach on both sides for breaches of these rules and boundaries.

    The public, rightly or wrongly, sees the travelling community as a bunch of criminals and scroungers, which is possibly the root of the problem.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    Why are the authorities "pussy-footing". The travellers should be offered accommodation, either council or prison.

  • Comment number 19.

    Genuine travellers such as Romanies have got my respect, they are the most politest and friendliest of people and take great pride in their caravans and surroundings. Unfortunately they are tarred with the brush that tars Irish Tinkers, and one should distinguish very clearly who is who amongst the travelling people.

    We can learn much from Romanies, they have a very close alliance with nature, are usually very God fearing people, and if treated with the respect they deserve, can become very good friends. Why should the villagers in Warwickshire be upset that travellers wish to make their home nearby, Romanies will keep the site spotless! and before anyone suggests that I am a traveller, I'm not, I just happen to take the time to listen and talk to different ethnic groups.

    I say let the travellers have a site, and stop this 'not in my back yard' attitude, we are talking about human beings here who have a right to live peaceably.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    The answer as to where should travellers live is simple. They should have formal 'parking areas', supplied by councils, with a one month limited stay, and a token compulsory maintenance fee. Sites should be frequently inspected by the councils 'gypsy officer' and any miscreants forfeitting the right to stay.
    These stupid rules about being allowed not to have road tax because they have no fixed abode have to be quashed now. If they have no road tax they, by definition, have no insurance.
    The same goes for income tax. If they are earning in this country and this is their nominated country of domicile they must pay VAT and any other tax like the rest of us.
    (The moderators should remove there censorship and really let the HYS'ers go at this issue!)

  • Comment number 22.

    Travellers have to be allocated authorised sites.

    Most of the supposed problems with travellers arise from the fact that they often genuinely have nowhere to go. And yes, I do know that residents get very hot under the collar about it - I used to work in the legal dept of an authority that saw an influx of travellers in the summer (because there are travellers who have houses but prefer to take to the road in summer. And despite the strenuous efforts of successive governments we do still have the freedom to make such a choice and I support this provided nuisance is not caused. I mean genuine nuisance, not nimby prejudice.)

    More recently when working for another local authority (not Devon where I live now) I had occasion to visit two authorised traveller sites. Contrary to popular prejudice that labels all travellers as 'dirty', 'uncivilised' etc, I found both sites to be spotless and the trailers themselves immaculate, many with beautiful displays of china. We were made very welcome. Both sites were in isolated parts of the county but neither generated complaints from local residents.

    Yes, the traveller community can be hard to engage. True gypsy culture is distinctive and maintains its separateness from other social groups. It can be difficult to keep the children in school. But if we still have any right to call ourselves a civilised society - and daily we have more and more reason to question this - we must accommodate this distinct group in our society and do our best to build bridges, especially if we live nearby.

  • Comment number 23.

    Unfortunately, the traveller way of life is an outdated way of life and is at odds with the current life that most of us lead.
    In olden times, when there was less obsession with policing and trespassing, the freeborn man of the travelling people was able to enjoy the country lanes and byways. Now, he gets slapped with a Court Order and told to move, as the sight of the camp will devalue the price of our lovely houses.
    Too many people, too many houses, too many cars, too many cameras, too many rules: it's time for the travellers to give up their way of life. There does not seem to be much choice.

  • Comment number 24.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

    16. At 12:17pm on 15 Jan 2011, callaspadeaspade wrote:
    No land should be "given" to anyone, but more sites should be provided. The problem is that communities don't want them in their neighbourhood because of the reputation, crime and property devaluation the supposedly comes witha traveller site.

    It takes one to descend on your doorstep, so to speak, to learn to appreciate how real these problems can become. It isn't just the site itself, nor the devaluation of your own property (though that's obviously a concern for most) but the increase in crime - it does happen, be assured - and the tensions that arise between the two communities, especially as travellers are privileged not to pay Council Tax, Water Rates (etc).

    It might be better to provide fixed sites with proper amenities to which travellers can come and go as they please but paying their way in the process.

  • Comment number 26.

    The first five comments have broken the House Rules, which would imply that robust opinions may have been expressed. Subsequent correspondents have observed the niceties of political correctness, or toed the BBC line, to put it another way.
    My own opinion is that we should be tolerant of minorities, but only if the laws and statutes of our country are observed, from compliance with local planning regulations to the payment of income tax.
    No minority should be allowed openly to avoid all responsibility and contribution toward the society in which they live.

  • Comment number 27.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 28.

    At 12:26pm on 15 Jan 2011, Nietzschean_Acolyte wrote:
    Unfortunately, the traveller way of life is an outdated way of life and is at odds with the current life that most of us lead.
    In olden times, when there was less obsession with policing and trespassing, the freeborn man of the travelling people was able to enjoy the country lanes and byways. Now, he gets slapped with a Court Order and told to move, as the sight of the camp will devalue the price of our lovely houses.
    Too many people, too many houses, too many cars, too many cameras, too many rules: it's time for the travellers to give up their way of life. There does not seem to be much choice.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Well said. It's a sad state of affairs when you realise that these so-called travellers are indigenous to this country, yet illegal immigrants, asylum seeker etc seem to be treated in a far better way.

  • Comment number 29.

    An issue that comes up repeatedly for which there is no easy solution.

    In my area there are currently very few travellers and they have little or no impact on the Benefit System.

    The worrying part of this debate will be the jingoistic attitude of many. We will probably see the same style comments from the same people who think all benefit claimants are scroungers, that all drug addicts and alcoholics and the workshy should be locked away somewhere.

    This is the sort of vernacular you see from the extreme right and extreme left. It is also the sort of prejudice that helped Hitler to power in Germany.

    Just because someone has a different lifestyle does not make them evil.

  • Comment number 30.

    They shouldn't live permanently anywhere. They call themsleves travellers, so they should keep travelling. There, that wasn't too hard to figure out was it?

  • Comment number 31.

    9. At 12:09pm on 15 Jan 2011, ruffled_feathers wrote:

    Even Richard Grey has managed to break the house rules. Who is doing the moderating - have the travellers got in?

    = = = = = = =

    I have to wonder - I've experienced the mess some of them make where I work - and it is appalling. But we as local taxpayers have to pay for the cost of continually clearing up. I also object to people working and not paying tax.

    Interestingly - long ago I used to camp with them and enjoyed it - but not now. They should join society and pay.

  • Comment number 32.

    Half a million Gypsies were Holocaust victims too.
    Listening to some comments on Radio4 this morning concerning travellers and gypsies, it seems this group remains the only 'out' group people feel able to traduce.

  • Comment number 33.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 34.

    15. At 12:17pm on 15 Jan 2011, moreram wrote:

    What a week it has been for BBC HYS posters! I bet they can't believe their luck. We've had bashing and blaming The long term unemployed, social security scroungers, the disabled and those on incapacity benefit and now the traveller community! Let me guess, criminals or paedophiles for Monday?

    -------------------------------------------------------

    My money's on some variation of 'how much do you hate fat people?' After all, it's only been about a week since the last time it was up for 'debate'. But then, even most of the liberals who object to the demonisation and scapegoating of travellers, benefit claimants, disabled people etc make an exception for 'the obese', genuinely believing that they're unique in deserving the stigma heaped upon them by their 'refusal' to just lose weight and conform already.

    Back to the question in hand, travellers have to live somewhere. Unless of course the Tories are going to take away their right to live a nomadic lifestyle, as they did the New Age travellers in the 1990s with a fascist Criminal Justice Bill that surely inspired the legislative excesses of their Labour successors. I do however suspect that those who cause problems / commit crime are, as in any community, the visible minority, and of course negative stereotypes are difficult to dispel, particularly when continually perpetuated by the media. I couldn't blame any group of people for becoming disengaged and disenfranchised from a majority culture which insists the sub-group can never be 'accepted'; against this is it any surprise that some within that group may cease trying to live up to externally-imposed demands and rebel against them? Moreover, has it ever occurred that many traveller families don't necessarily want to be involved or linked to crime, drugs, violence etc, but because the police and authorities refuse to properly manage the publicly provided sites they are nonetheless forced to live (just as many in the settled community do) in fear of gangs and criminal elements within their own groups?

  • Comment number 35.

    On a motorway, in an airport, or at a railway/bus station.

  • Comment number 36.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 37.

    6. At 12:07pm on 15 Jan 2011, Peter Buck wrote:
    Some travellers actually have houses in Ireland and come over here to claim benefit
    ----------------

    Interesting!. There are towns in Ireland particlarly in the south west where there are long queues on benefit day of UK drop outs. It's the same in many inland villages in southern Spain

  • Comment number 38.

    Travellers should have to apply for planning permission BEFORE living on any land just as the rest of us do. As it is illegal not to have your actual address on your driving licence/insurance and vehicles registration documents how do travellers comply with the current laws as they all seem to have motor vehicles as travellers. If they are not complying with the law why is no action taken against them? If travellers do not like the current laws in the UK they are free to leave just as I would have to escape being subject to laws I do not like living under.

  • Comment number 39.

    It needs to be noted that the BBC censor is deleting a LARGE proportion of postings - perhaps said postings are not sufficiently PC & are a good measure of most people's anger at the problem????

  • Comment number 40.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 41.

    As moderation is so strict on this topic can I simply say that travellers should be politely requested to obey whatever laws may apply to them. But if they don't want to obey the laws then the laws should be reviewed.
    To the BBC - if you want a discussion on this topic please let us have a little more information about what you want us to say. I believe that is how it works in North Korea.

  • Comment number 42.

    29. At 12:38pm on 15 Jan 2011, shillo wrote:An issue that comes up repeatedly for which there is no easy solution.

    In my area there are currently very few travellers and they have little or no impact on the Benefit System.

    The worrying part of this debate will be the jingoistic attitude of many. We will probably see the same style comments from the same people who think all benefit claimants are scroungers, that all drug addicts and alcoholics and the workshy should be locked away somewhere.

    This is the sort of vernacular you see from the extreme right and extreme left. It is also the sort of prejudice that helped Hitler to power in Germany.

    Just because someone has a different lifestyle does not make them evil.
    -------------------------------------------

    Thank you for posting this. I can see now which posts have acceptable content.
    All the rhetoric about the extreme right, prejudice and so on. The question asked whether anyone lives near a travelling person's site. Well I cannot report this can I?

  • Comment number 43.

    yep, BBC censor is busy - they don't like a non PC posting!

    perhaps the censor is expecting ALL posters to say something along the lines of "lovely folk, I have garden, they can park 10 old transit vans on it".....

  • Comment number 44.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

    Just thought I'd save the moderators the time and energy of deleting my post. LOL

  • Comment number 45.

    As far as I'm concerned - If they want sites - they cannot be on the green belt and they should pay rent for them - and their earning scrutinised like everybody else - As their children go to school and use hospitals - they should pay NI.

    Equally they should clear the sites before leaving - and have it inspected before leaving.

    Again when I used to camp with them - the sites were carefully cleared - so that only pale dry grass indicated they had been there.

  • Comment number 46.

    I understand from my local authority contacts that travellers are regarded as ethnic minorities and all that that entails, i.e. reverse discrimination.

    However,

    The ownership of land does NOT bring with it the right to develop or build, except within the local plan and rules. It follows that enforcement should be applied to unauthorised developement, just as it would for anybody else.

    All land belongs to somebody; it is the landowners' option to permit travellers to use it, provided this activity meets necessary planning, health and environmental requirements. I can see no case for land to be given, or provided to sustain travellers' lifstyle, nor for unacceptable degradation of the local environment as a part of that lifestyle.

    There is a clear conflict between the traveller lifestyle and the modern world. I do wonder how many of thase groups are more recent converts to the lifestyle. Why should we sustain them?

    There may be traveller groups that leave a small footprint. Unfortunately we only hear about those that don't.

    Anybody have any positive experience?

  • Comment number 47.

    "A representative of travellers has accused the protesters in Meriden, Warwickshire, of racism."

    +++++++++++++

    Astonishing, IF the travellers want to play the racism card, or actually ANY card, then they need to bring their tax returns and live by the rules that we all abide by.

    Until then they can exist in limbo.

    UK legislation is their for us all to respect and abide by.

    I'd love to buy a field down the road and build a new house on it but I can't because its green belt and thats the end of the dream.

    Wonder if this will get past the moderators!

  • Comment number 48.

    I have just been informed that some travellers are Catholics, and I spoke to one in the pub who said he supported the US Tea Party. I think they should be encouraged to pursue their chosen life style.
    Live and let live, that is my motto.

  • Comment number 49.

    If I chose to tour around in my caravan, I would expect to pay the going rate at campsites, and not expect any special treatment. I also would suggest these morals values, are the same for romanies. These citizens also choose this life style for financial benefit not just to live in a outside a "normal society", but without taxable, national insurance expectations. Yet all still demand health pension education as a right, although not paying towards those basic needs. Many of these people have homes and possessions worth a fortune.

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    MORE bash the peasants by the middle classes on HYS when do they want the workhouses back and opening camps for those who have least ALL classes races and religions are HUMAN and should be treated as such just because you hve a bigger car/house/salary than the man next to you does not make you superior

  • Comment number 53.

    No one should be allowed to steal land or set up camp on playing fields or park land.Travellers should be given designated traveller sites,that over time would form a community spirit.
    I one day want to live the nomadic life but on narrow boats.If not,i would like to live on a caravan park.This is something a lot of people do today to save money and housing costs.A bit like a traveller.

  • Comment number 54.

    I am discussed that my comments were obviously not deemed politically correct.
    It just about sums up this country, and the moderator.
    The number of comments that have been removed......need I say more???

  • Comment number 55.

    I can only say that before the 1960s there was little problems where I lived with "travellers" but then "free love" and flowerpower came along with people "communing" with nature.

    I learned an enormous amount about woodcraft from gypsies - but that was in the 1940s and 50s

  • Comment number 56.

    If as is said they own the land then they have every right to be there as long as local planning regulation is adhered to. But it does beggar the question that if they settle on this land then they cease to be travellers by definition?

  • Comment number 57.

    43. At 12:58pm on 15 Jan 2011, W Fletcher wrote:yep, BBC censor is busy - they don't like a non PC posting!

    perhaps the censor is expecting ALL posters to say something along the lines of "lovely folk, I have garden, they can park 10 old transit vans on it".....
    ---------------------------------------
    To JW Fletcher. I agree.

    The travellers visit our area. I saw a farmer crying when they burnt his barn, although he managed to save his horses. I pleaded with them to stop throwing stones at my dogs, but they ignored me. Just anecdotes. Somehow, when this post is rejected, I will find a way of making it public.

  • Comment number 58.

    Snagprophet wrote:
    Jeez, racism against travellers? Did I hear that correctly?

    ----

    it isn't racism and such but it is certainly fascism. I think you will find fascism is and has for many years, been one of the big problems with this country.

  • Comment number 59.

    Having had to endure the unbelievable and unwarranted abuse meted out by our local travellers, the answer to where they should live is extraordinarily easy.

    There should be a simple poll undertaken with the question, "would you feel happy living near a traveller community?"

    Anyone who answers 'no' should not have to be subjected to traveller proximity and anyone who answers 'yes' should get their wish.

    I notice how many of these posts have been moderated. Which is why, like so many others, I am being extraordinarily careful about how I phrase this.

    Suffice to say though, my experiences with members of the travelling community have been very negative and as a social group (not race or creed) I see no reason why taxpayers should support them with either welfare benefit, education or accommodation. It is a well known fact that travellers move to greener pastures when famine hits. I suggest that this country needs to encourage such a move by ceasing ALL the handouts and services that such people expect as a right.

    In Britain, we have a Labour legacy of seriously curtailed free speech, which is propped up by organs such as the BBC and the rest of the media. Nevertheless, the question has to be asked. What do the travelling community actually contribute to English society?

    If anyone can come up with an answer, I'd be very interested to hear it.

  • Comment number 60.

    Travellers have a right to own land just like the rest of us. BUT they must then abide by the law, including planning laws with what they do with it. No body should just be able to build what they want where they want.
    To live within a society people must abide by that societies laws or via legal means get those laws changed.

  • Comment number 61.

    26. At 12:35pm on 15 Jan 2011, Harwode Magna wrote:
    The first five comments have broken the House Rules, which would imply that robust opinions may have been expressed. Subsequent correspondents have observed the niceties of political correctness, or toed the BBC line, to put it another way.

    Toed the BBC ever so PC line, and whatever you do dont criticise the former government!
    Personally I agree with Dunghill:
    24. At 12:32pm on 15 Jan 2011, dunghill wrote:
    In specially constructed sealed camps away from decent taxpaying people, in fact they could join the nighbours from hell estates

  • Comment number 62.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 63.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 64.

    49. At 1:03pm on 15 Jan 2011, leng wrote:

    If I chose to tour around in my caravan, I would expect to pay the going rate at campsites, and not expect any special treatment. I also would suggest these morals values, are the same for romanies. These citizens also choose this life style for financial benefit not just to live in a outside a "normal society", but without taxable, national insurance expectations. Yet all still demand health pension education as a right, although not paying towards those basic needs. Many of these people have homes and possessions worth a fortune.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The trouble with that one is the "real campsites" won't allow travellers, they even make up their rules on which caravan make they'll accept onsite as they know which make and models are favoured by the traveller, basically racism, which we all know is "against the law", the financial benefits of being a traveller would be wiped out if law abiding homeowners refused to have their drives block paved or other repairs carried out by a caller driving a transit/other van and employed a local builder who will pay stamp and tax, but no they take the usually cheaper route of the traveller when looking for home improvements they themselves are unable to perform. Swings n roundabouts.

  • Comment number 65.

    "How much land should be given to travellers?"

    What do you mean 'given to travellers'? Land should NOT be 'given' to travellers at all! If they want to build themselves an area to live on then they should buy the land and go through the same Planning Permission hoops as the rest of us AND pay the same Council Tax.

    Why should they have special treatment?

  • Comment number 66.

    "Where should travellers live"? is the HYS question.

    By definition, travellers, require no place, or permanent settlement to live? In fact they are often 'terrified' of bricks and mortar homes offered and provided by local authorities via Council Tax contributions?

    However, if a Council Tax funded permanent site is provided - travellers are quite happy to live permanently in such 'enclaves'?

    Well, which is it? Travel, stay? Stay and travel? Personally, I don't care what you call yourself - if you have the benefit of travelling and want your own permanent enclaves at the same time - stop taking the rise out of those with an investment and a vested and genuine and personal interest their permanent homes and local communities.

    Just a few thoughts.

  • Comment number 67.

    Where should travellers live? NIMBY is the quick answer.

    Until twelve months ago I was in favour of my local authority providing a permanent site for "travellers". However, a group then took up residence on part of a local golf club. They then proceeded to live like a marauding army where nothing that wasn't nailed down disappeared. The site was a disgusting tip within a few days littered with excrement, piles of tarmac, garden refuse and other assorted detritus. When they were finally "moved on" it cost the local council a significant amount to clear the site. That's not what I pay my council and other taxes for.

    Once again we hear the "leaders" of this community saying that it's only a small number of "rogues" who cause problems. No one believes them any longer. Far too many of us have seen the results of a "visit" by one of these groups.

  • Comment number 68.

    52. At 1:11pm on 15 Jan 2011, steve1955 wrote:

    MORE bash the peasants by the middle classes on HYS when do they want the workhouses back and opening camps for those who have least ALL classes races and religions are HUMAN and should be treated as such just because you hve a bigger car/house/salary than the man next to you does not make you superior


    Hardly. Barely a word has been allowed on the subject.
    Can't really see the point in calling for a debate and then allowing only one side of the argument.

    Anyway, your post.

    I'm surprised you didn't get modded for referring to Travellers as 'Peasants'. Are you a mod?

    Seriously though, am I bashing the peasants? No. Not at all. I am equally as vocal about anyone who is propped up by the taxpayer without any intention to contribute to society. Welfare should be for those who CAN'T, not for those who DON'T WANT TO.

    Now if you are happy for your taxes to pay for the feckless, the idle and the criminal, fine, but I am not.

  • Comment number 69.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 70.

    Simple if they have not got permission they don't build there! I can't see what the fuss is about. If they break the rules then they are arrested and dealt with, they are no different to anyone else. As for the actual site hopefully things move fast and they don't get the chance to actually build and if they do bring in the bull dozers.

    It really is that simple.

  • Comment number 71.

    # 59. At 1:31pm on 15 Jan 2011, you wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain



    Oh for heaven's sake, there was nothing wrong with it. Just publish the flipping thing and stop this arbitrary censorship that bear no relation to the house rules.

    What is the point in having a debate if you only let one side talk? This is doing nothing for any claims of independence and impartiality that the BBC bang on about.

  • Comment number 72.

    55. At 1:18pm on 15 Jan 2011, RichardGrey wrote:

    I can only say that before the 1960s there was little problems where I lived with "travellers" but then "free love" and flowerpower came along with people "communing" with nature.

    I learned an enormous amount about woodcraft from gypsies - but that was in the 1940s and 50s
    ****************************************************************
    I see your point but we are talking travellers here not gypsies or hippies. There is a very big difference.

  • Comment number 73.

    28. At 12:37pm on 15 Jan 2011, Tom McLaughlan wrote:

    At 12:26pm on 15 Jan 2011, Nietzschean_Acolyte wrote:
    Unfortunately, the traveller way of life is an outdated way of life and is at odds with the current life that most of us lead.
    In olden times, when there was less obsession with policing and trespassing, the freeborn man of the travelling people was able to enjoy the country lanes and byways. Now, he gets slapped with a Court Order and told to move, as the sight of the camp will devalue the price of our lovely houses.
    Too many people, too many houses, too many cars, too many cameras, too many rules: it's time for the travellers to give up their way of life. There does not seem to be much choice.

    This hits the nail on the head, I'm afraid. The sad fact is that travellers are an anachronism left over from an age when the population was lower and our infrastructure was less dense; 'common land' no longer really exists. Modern society can no longer accommodate travellers, so all the measures taken and that might be taken will never be satisfactory and, like it or not, it's just a matter of time before this community disappears.

  • Comment number 74.

    Some Travellers give offence because they are taking advantage of the local society wherein they encamp. They should be obliged to obey all the laws of the land. The problem that is not being tackled is that they offend in numbers. If just one person acted in isolation as they do then he/she would soon be decamped and dealt with in whatever manner was deemed right by the law.
    It is exactly the same position as is found with a large group of protesters. The very size of their presence sets off a different course of attention than it does for individuals.
    It is therefore time that the government(s) grasped the nettle and protected the vulnerable and law-abiding majority and set up proper legislation for activities where groups of people collect together to defy the law and to cock a snoop at the society on which they impose themselves.
    Freedom of speech and freedom of movement have limits and the law should recognise that.

  • Comment number 75.

    63. At 1:38pm on 15 Jan 2011, Mick Hodd wrote:

    The Goodwin Sands is very large and no planning permission is needed.


    LOL
    What about Gruinard? Bikini Atoll? Rockall maybe?
    All currently available I believe

  • Comment number 76.

    58. At 1:30pm on 15 Jan 2011, makar wrote: Snagprophet wrote:
    Jeez, racism against travellers? Did I hear that correctly?

    ----

    it isn't racism and such but it is certainly fascism. I think you will find fascism is and has for many years, been one of the big problems with this country.
    ---------------------------------------------------
    You are clearly not an expert on politics or you would not bandy the word 'fascism' so easily. Read up on fascism and you will discover that the word does not cover anyone whose opinions you dislike. Nor does it apply to people who hold very distasteful and nasty views. Of course fascism is a very nasty doctrine, but it does not follow that evryone who is nasty is a fascist.

    Whatever the views of the people of the villagers meeting in Warwickshire they are very unlikely to be fascists.

    The trouble is that upholders of the current PC authoritarian line are encouraged to employ the term fascism for anyone who is not in their camp. Note how journalists are describing anyone outside of the PC circle as 'extreme far right', which translates as people my bosses are against.
    ,

  • Comment number 77.

    Where should travellers live?.Meridan and I think they should be able to claim for child minders through parlimentary expencise.

  • Comment number 78.

    52. At 1:11pm on 15 Jan 2011, steve1955 wrote:

    MORE bash the peasants by the middle classes on HYS when do they want the workhouses back and opening camps for those who have least ALL classes races and religions are HUMAN and should be treated as such just because you hve a bigger car/house/salary than the man next to you does not make you superior
    .........................................................................

    Well my car certainly isnt bigger than the stolen, burnt out, long wheelbase with high roof Mercedes van they left behind after sacking the vicinity - does that still make me a snob?

  • Comment number 79.

    Our area is periodically visited by the travelling community. If they are within a five mile radius of our village the warnings are sent out as we know what to expect. Perhaps we have just been unlucky.

    Last year we had to raise over 50k between us to outbid a cash paying traveller for under an acre of scrub land up for sale in the centre of our little community. Apparently he only wanted to put just the one caravan on it!

  • Comment number 80.

    True Romany Gypsies are not a problem, the problem is that the majority of travellers are just itinerant scavengers.

    I live in an area that has had a long association with the travelling community, yet they still try to circumvent the planning rules. The favourite is to buy a plot of land then start to develop it without permission. Recently they tried this near the village where I live, buying agricultural land in the green belt, waiting for a bank holiday, then dumping tonnes of hardcore (right on top of a public footpath) to start the development without planning permission, hoping the District Council enforcement officers were on holiday. Luckily, despite the holiday, an injunction was rapidly obtained and the development halted in its tracks.

    This battle is still on-going, the travellers have twice applied for planning permission, and twice it has been refused, the case has now gone to appeal. Even if the site were suitable for the development, which it isn't, it is still in the green belt and would be refused on that point alone. No more than four miles away from this site there is a well established traveller site they could use, but they choose not to. It's also quite interesting that both of the named planning applicants live in houses, not caravans.

    I could respect the travellers choice of a lifestyle if they respected everyone else. Unfortunately, they will take over a piece of land, be it park, playing field, or field, and use it for as long as possible until they are legally removed. Whilst they are there, the crime rate goes up. When they go, they leave behind a site choked with litter, scrap metal and human faeces, and the community (or the poor benighted farmer) has to bear the cost of cleaning it up.

    I'm sorry, but if they have vehicles without tax or insurance they should be confiscated and crushed, the same as anyone else's vehicle would be. When there are sites available they should use them. If they want respect they have to earn it and return it. They may feel they can live in freedom as free spirits. but they still need to respect the law.

  • Comment number 81.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 82.

    Nobody's giving any land to me so why should they GET some? If you want land you have to BUY it and pay all the fees, taxes and utilities that everybody else pays. A lot of what's wrong with our society boils down to the fact that so many people think they're entitled to free stuff at the expense of the rest of us. If you didn't earn it, you don't deserve it!

  • Comment number 83.

    They can live anywhere they like as long as it is not near me.

    That should sum up the majority of views on here nicely.

  • Comment number 84.

    reply to 68
    Peasants generally reffered to thos who most HYS topics seem to be about the comments given by the majority to me are bashing the lower classes and the poorest and weakest members of this so called CLASSLESS society we stil have crooked thieving MPs called hounarable and right honourable.can anyone explain why the MP who pleaded guilty to fiddling this week is still honourable my taxes and those from my family are spent for the benefit of the whole population I HOPE

  • Comment number 85.

    48. At 1:02pm on 15 Jan 2011, Dr Llareggub wrote:

    I have just been informed that some travellers are Catholics, and I spoke to one in the pub who said he supported the US Tea Party. I think they should be encouraged to pursue their chosen life style.
    Live and let live, that is my motto.
    57. At 1:29pm on 15 Jan 2011, Dr Llareggub wrote:

    43. At 12:58pm on 15 Jan 2011, W Fletcher wrote:yep, BBC censor is busy - they don't like a non PC posting!

    perhaps the censor is expecting ALL posters to say something along the lines of "lovely folk, I have garden, they can park 10 old transit vans on it".....
    ---------------------------------------
    To JW Fletcher. I agree.

    The travellers visit our area. I saw a farmer crying when they burnt his barn, although he managed to save his horses. I pleaded with them to stop throwing stones at my dogs, but they ignored me. Just anecdotes. Somehow, when this post is rejected, I will find a way of making it public.
    _____________________________________________________
    Dear Dr Lagrub, are you really saying "live and let live" to "stone throwing arsonists engaged in animal cruelty"? Tell me did you discuss horse apples with your Tea Party Traveller down the pub?

  • Comment number 86.

    Short-stay campsites should be made available, and a fee charged for their use.

    Short-stay, because if you just want to stay someplace long-term, you are not a 'traveller' by definition. I'd suggest a couple of weeks, tops, unless the weather is too bad for travelling or over public holidays.

    A fee, because there is no reason why travellers should not pay their way like everybody else. It also means that there is money to pay for a toilet block, rubbish collection, etc.

  • Comment number 87.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 88.

    52. At 1:11pm on 15 Jan 2011, steve1955 wrote:

    MORE bash the peasants by the middle classes on HYS when do they want the workhouses back and opening camps for those who have least ALL classes races and religions are HUMAN and should be treated as such just because you hve a bigger car/house/salary than the man next to you does not make you superior
    ============================================

    I entirely agree....BUT, neither does living in a caravan make anyone exempt from the laws of this land; nor should it absolve them from paying proper taxation and NI for their healthcare and their children's education.

  • Comment number 89.

    82. At 2:20pm on 15 Jan 2011, Christine wrote:

    Nobody's giving any land to me so why should they GET some? If you want land you have to BUY it and pay all the fees, taxes and utilities that everybody else pays. A lot of what's wrong with our society boils down to the fact that so many people think they're entitled to free stuff at the expense of the rest of us. If you didn't earn it, you don't deserve it!

    ---------------------------------

    I believe the land is owned by them so they have every right to be there as long as it`s within the law. However, i couldn`t help but pick up on the fact that you think too many people get something for nothing and yet get agitated because you wasn`t given something for nothing. It seems you`re a complicated lady and full of contradictions. Don`t waste your time on jealousy, sometimes you`re ahead, sometimes you`re behind.

  • Comment number 90.

    As an ex new age traveler (many years ago) I can see the problem from both sides...
    Society in general and even the government is utterly opposed to any way of life that is outside the "norm"!
    It is expected, nay required that you will:
    1/ Live in a house with a fixed address where you can be kept an eye on... IE "They" know where to find you!
    2/ Get a regular job.
    3/ Pay taxes.
    4/ Get a mortgage and a bank account.
    5/ Be a consumer.
    6/ Have 2.4 kids etc etc etc

    If you live a lifestyle that falls outside these conventions then woe betide you! I have been on the wrong side of gangs of "townies", "irate villagers" etc who sometimes physically attacked us just for existing.. such was the strength of their ire. I have known local police ask all shops and pubs etc if they would mind not serving us!
    Having said all that, on the occasions when fate meant us having to share a site with "gypsy travelers" for a day or two, even we found them quite bizarre and difficult to get on with... including one of them asking to buy my mates girlfriend on one occasion!!
    As a now business man and council tax payer I can also see that side of things!
    Surely though there should be the possibility and wherewithal for alternative lifestyles to exist and be tolerated!??
    I await the torrent of abuse calling me a one time scrounger, greebo, scourge of society etc!

  • Comment number 91.

    Why are they travelling ? Where are they travelling to ? Why do they not travel alone rather than in 'wagon trains'? Can they even spell the word tidy? Do they know where the local council rubbish tips are? Why do they ever end up in town centres if they like the open road so much? Why have they always had such had a bad reputation ? Why don't they all just travel around the world like true travellers would do? Why a 'traveller' should want to end up in say the middle of Bolton is beyond me! Well i know the answers and i expect they do too!

  • Comment number 92.

    Anywhere but England

  • Comment number 93.

    { Real Romany} are the kings of the road. The travellers'!!! many of them are irish ? who make a living out of scrap metal business and doing odd jobs {Tarmac} and petty crime, most have plenty of money, and some have land if they choose to live on sites' owned by local councils and pay rent, the same as anyone else? The same planning laws should apply to them as well, The people I know who live on the sites are good christian family people who look after each other in hard or bad times.

  • Comment number 94.

    In my experience with travellers, and in my opinion, they should be held accountable they same as any house residing citizen. They should pay rent for their pitches and rates for their watse disposal. They should pay for their childrens education in our state funded schools and contribute to the NHS when they are ill.
    They expect all these "freebies" without having to contribute.
    Sorry, if you can afford a £20,000+ caravan and a £30,000+ 4x4 to pull it, then you can afford to pay towards state benefits..
    And what about their pensions that they are "entitled" to, without having to contribute to them. Sorry, this country is thoroughly messed up. Not enough tax payers and too many free-loaders.

  • Comment number 95.

    Travellers are travellers - surely
    they should not need somewhere to live.
    Just keep 'em moving.

  • Comment number 96.

    17. At 12:19pm on 15 Jan 2011, Snagprophet wrote:
    Jeez, racism against travellers? Did I hear that correctly? And these people still haven't been given the boot? This sums up everything wrong with this country.
    ----------------------------
    Bonkers.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    I am not a Nazi. I refuse to stigmatise a whole minority section of people that most I do not know, never mind have real excuse to hate them. Dehumanising people and making them an enemy is what Hitler did to the Jews. Make them subhuman so it is easier to hate them.

    And yes we used to have a traveller camp near literally on my door step and our so called "decent" God-fearing village community made threats to them that if they didn't move they would even as far as burn down their caravans. They even had children on the small tidy site and frightened them. Who were the thugs? It was not the travellers.
    The travellers caused no mess, no harm they even owned the land themselves.

    It was a sad time for me to realise what kind of people we have as neighbours that should the conditions become right they would have no problem to commit heinous crimes agains people.

  • Comment number 100.

    When a traveller moves onto a site,legal or otherwise, the local authority should have the right to demand immediate payment to cover the cost of rubbish collection,toilet supply etc. I would suggest on demand 1 months band A council tax in advance,on non payment they the council should have the legal right to eject or remove forcibly.

 

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