South West Wales

Swansea Traveller site campaign stepped up in Llansamlet

A travellers' site (generic)
Image caption Swansea council said residents had until 31 March to register their views

Residents opposing a second permanent traveller site in the Llansamlet area of Swansea are stepping up their campaign as public consultation closes.

Llansamlet already hosts the city's only traveller site which is full and Swansea council has to find more space.

There are five possible sites under consideration, including two in Gorseinon and others at Cockett and Penderry.

The council said residents had until 31 March to register their views.

The authority has said there are Gypsy and Traveller families in Swansea unable to access proper facilities.

Hilary Jenkins, chair of Llansamlet Against Second Travellers' Site, said: "The consultation ends on 31 March, but because of Easter the last working day to submit our views is 28 March.

"We will be stepping up our campaign over the next week or so, visiting the areas in the Llansamlet ward affected by the plans for the travellers' site and asking people to sign our petition.

"We've collected more than 4,500 signatures so far which is over 40% of the electorate of Llansamlet.

"We then intend to hand the petition to Swansea council on 28 March, and a cabinet meeting is being held that day."

Mrs Jenkins said the action group had been leafleting businesses on Swansea Enterprise Park and urging them to take part in the consultation.

Gardens

"The planned site in Llansamlet is unsuitable for a travellers' site," she added.

"There are several problems with it including overhead power lines, underground gas pipes, disused old coal mines and the site backs directly onto the back of people's gardens."

Last weekend around 300 to 400 people staged a protest opposing the Gorseinon locations - Parc Melyn Mynach and Heol-y-Mynydd.

Swansea council said the Welsh government has insisted all local authorities in Wales look at the needs of Gypsies and Travellers "as part of its assessment of accommodation needs".

Council leader David Phillips said: "The council wants the public to play a full part in this process and people will have until the end of March to give us their views.

"No decisions have been made about any site and none will be until after the public consultation has been completed."

Martin Saville, the council's head of public protection, said: "A number of Gypsy and Traveller families have lived in Swansea for quite some time without proper facilities for themselves and their children.

"We need to look at finding a suitable location to create a second legal site."

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