Posted by Alfredo ODonnello on March 09, 2005 at 15:47:42:
In Reply to: Re: the law requires them to provide places for travellers posted by Why on March 09, 2005 at 14:36:50:
Of course it's hard to get a council house - and even more so if you are a traveller. Settled people who need council houses are treated by too many elected councillors at only a very slightly lower level of contempt than that reserved for travellers. At least the settled people are usually already living in a house as opposed to teh side of the road. In reality if you can't afford to buy a site and or a house from a councillor they just don't count - you are a charity case beneath contempt?
If a traveller can afford their own accommodation they should not be stopped from buying a house and settling. Based on interviews of Mayo tavellers most want to become settled and have no wish to live on the side of the road. The 1988 Act makes provision for loans or assistance for travellers to buy caravans or other accommodation so it's not a free lunch. I've no idea whether they pay for the use of the limited halting sites that are provided - which only accommodate a small fraction of the total that require accommodation - but obviously it would make sense to have to pay at least something towards the upkeep of the site. But there are waivers in place for refuse and water charges depending on income for regular settled people too.
The accommodation plan is there on paper but obviously it hasn't been implemented the proof being the fact that there are still travellers causing problems to others on the side of the road. And the councillors answer if we read last week's paper is simply to move them on somewhere else and ignore the 1988 Act that requires them to provide proper accommodation for travellers.
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