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Guildford council leader calls for traveller transit sites

2 minute read
Guildford council leader calls for traveller transit sites

Published at 5:07pm 4th February 2019.

Guildford Borough Council leader Paul Spooner says Surrey needs specialist sites to end the issue of unauthorised traveller encampments.

His comments follow five such encampments in the borough since the start of the year, but he denies traveller bans elsewhere in the county have had an impact.

He added that the Surrey Leaders Board, which he chairs, are currently looking at possible sites across the county and that he fully understands the frustrations of those disrupted by unauthorised encampments.

Cllr Spooner said:

“We are still looking at the possibility of an injunction here in Guildford, Runnymede and Elmbridge have gone through that process, but actually they are specific to individual traveller groups and there’s a question as to whether they are really worth the investment or not.”

“I guess with both Elmbridge and Runnymede would argue they are, but from a Guildford perspective we do not say no to travellers, far from it.”

“I believe strongly that we should find specialist sites within this county.”

“What we don’t want is obviously travellers coming in and upsetting areas for example on sports fields, village greens, etc., where people then are inconvenienced – doesn’t seem fair to me, so we have to get the balance right.”

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