Kent

Gypsy site points system proposed by Kent County Council

  • 7 March 2012
  • From the section Kent

A points system for Gypsies and travellers wanting to move on to a pitch in Kent may be introduced.

The proposals by Kent County Council will see a similar system to that currently used for social housing.

The council claims the new set of rules will be transparent, leading to fewer appeals and cutting legal costs.

But Gypsy and traveller groups have criticised the proposal for not addressing the underlying shortage of pitches.

Bill Forester, head of the council's Gypsy and traveller unit, said: "We're trying to make the system as similar as it can be [to social housing], but obviously it needs to cater for the particular needs of the Gypsy and traveller community."

He said the points system would be based on a variety of factors including existing accommodation, the lack of facilities and legal places to live, and health and care issues.

Joe Jones, who is the co-chair of the Gypsy Council and lives in Swale, said there has been a lack of commitment in providing more sites.

"They [councils] have never taken into account the growth rate of the Gypsy and traveller population locally," he said.

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