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Issue - meetings

Emergency Stopping Places Strategy

Meeting: 03/07/2018 - Cabinet (Item 255)

255 Emergency Stopping Places Strategy

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

Councillor Toby Sturgis presented the report which sought approval for, and agreement to, implement an Emergency Stopping Places (ESP) Strategy for Gypsies and Travellers.

 

Matters highlighted in the course of the presentation and discussion included: that a report would come back in the autumn once further assessment of the suitability of the sites against the identified criteria; the figures for the last three years regarding unauthorised encampments have reduced; that facilities at emergency stopping places and how the sites are secured when not in use; that these would be considered temporary sites; and the distinction between unauthorised stopping sites and unauthorised developments.

 

Councillor Mathew Deane, Chair of the Environment Select Committee, stated that the committee had considered the strategy and was broadly supportive of the pragmatic.

 

The Leader emphasised the importance of providing appropriate facilities for the Gypsy and Traveller communities as part of the wider community of Wiltshire.

 

In response to issues raised Councillor Ian Thorn, Councillor Sturgis stated that the appropriate planning process would be followed before sites could be made operational, and that the council had a good process in place to deal with existing illegal encampments the volume of which was decreasing year on year.

 

Leader emphasised important to have good sites and right services on those sites.

 

At the end of the debate, the meeting;

 

Resolved

 

  1. To approve the Wiltshire Emergency Stopping Places Strategy for Gypsy and Travellers set out at Appendix 1; and

 

  1. To agree that the Director for Economic Development and Planning, in consultation with the Director for Finance and Cabinet Members for ‘Planning and Strategic Asset Management’ and ‘Finance’, prepare a subsequent report for Cabinet’s consideration regarding the implementation of the Strategy including site proposals and assessments of delivery and maintenance costs.

 

Reason for Decisions:

 

Wiltshire Council currently has no operational transit site. Dealing with unauthorised encampments is a continuing issue for Wiltshire Council Highways Enforcement and Wiltshire and Swindon Police. Establishing a network of Emergency Stopping Places will enable unauthorised encampments to be dealt with more effectively, enable large groups of Travellers to be dispersed and fulfil the Council’s statutory duties to provide for the transit accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers.

 


 

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