South West Wales

Swansea council's reputation 'damaged' over Gypsy sites

This field is where one of the proposed sites is Image copyright Hilary Jenkins
Image caption This field is where one of the proposed sites is

The hunt for Swansea's second permanent Gypsy and travellers' site is likely to have damaged the city council's reputation, a report has said.

Recommendations for a new site on council-owned land either in Cockett or Llansamlet were thrown out in 2013.

It followed campaigns in opposition to proposals for the particular areas.

Swansea council's scrutiny programme committee said the authority found it a "difficult and emotive, issue".

'Ill-feeling'

The report, which is going before a special meeting of councillors this week, added: "The process has drawn criticism from councillors and members of the public.

"The issue has caused a lot of tension and ill-feeling and has likely damaged the reputation of the authority."

The committee also found the authority followed through on the process agreed in 2010, but opinions about whether it was the best process were expressed.

The former greyhound racing track in Cockett and Peniel Green Road in Llansamlet were the sites put forward as the preferred options but now all options are open as the search has restarted.

The report also recommended Gypsy and traveller families should be involved at the earliest stage of any new process, rather than the end of short-listing of sites.

Llansamlet already hosts the city's only traveller site which is full and cannot be expanded.

Swansea council has a duty to find more space.

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