A traveller site at Eaton Bray is set to get a £73,013 makeover. Beds County Council has been....
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Government pays £73,000 to improve traveller site

Posted on March 11, 2008

This article was published in March 2008. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

A traveller site at Eaton Bray is set to get a £73,013 makeover. Beds County Council has been given the money to spend on Chiltern View in Northall Road as part of an East of England Gypsy and Traveller Site grant totalling £6.9 million, announced on Friday by Communities Minister Ian Wright MP.

Across England, since 2006/7 the Government has approved £54.6 million of investment (including £50,000 for Chiltern View) that will provide over 400 additional pitches for gypsies and travellers, and refurbish 120 sites.

A further £97 million of funding is available between 2008-11, and bids are now being invited for 2008/9.

Mr Wright said: "This funding is vital in delivering both new and better sites to ensure that gypsies and travellers have authorised, decent places to live and to help reduce the £18 million annual enforcement bill.

"It is important that councils ensure there are enough authorised sites for the gypsy and traveller communities.

"A good supply of legal sites can break the vicious cycle of evictions that is costly in terms of both local tensions and taxpayers' cash."

Get the Leighton Buzzard Observer every Tuesday.

Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 11 March 2008

Reader Comments

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March 21, 2008, Mr X says:

While I appreciate that everyone is entitled to somewhere nice to live - I think that this money would be better improving relations between the travelling people and the village where they live.

There have been many incidents where people from the sites have caused drisuption, been aggresive and have made other villagers feel threatened and intimidated.

We have had first hand experiance due to an incident at our place of business involving yourng people from the site and there have also been other occurances at other local businesses which have involved people from the site.

I am aware that the feeling from many people that live in the village is that the travellers are almost above the law - and that there is no point in calling the police to help when they are involved in any conflict because the police will not get involved.

An example of this was when a woman from the site entered the off licence in Eaton Bray with a chain saw and dispite CCTV evidence she was only issued with a caution.

Its very much the feeling within the village community that we are the second class citizens and people that have lived here for all their lives are worried and frightened to walk around the village without being intimidated by some people from the site.

Surely everyone is entitled to carry out their lives - without being afraid to come across unpleasent people - I dont think that spending money on improving the site is the answer - spending money to help integrate and achive a higher degree of civil behaviour from all is a more benifitial way to spend this money.

Also why has this cause been given so much money? My wife and I have lived in the villiage for many years but are unable to buy a larger home due to the cost of housing in the village - surely it would be better to spend some of this money on building more affordable second homes for people that work hard and pay all their taxes - so that they can continue to make the village a better place.

May 14, 2008, Mr Y says:

Another case of the government being completely out of touch with reality. The vast majority of people want the travellers to move on, or even go back to Ireland, rather than have more sites or more comfortable sites made available for them.

I agree with Mr X above. Good, honest, tax paying local people are fed up of being indimidated and being treated like 2nd class citizens because the police are afraid of them too, or afraid they'll get punished because of European Human Rights Laws that are a complete joke. What about our Human Rights?

May 22, 2008, Mr E says:

I agree with both the previous comments but would like to add that the more money given to travellers, the more travellers we will have, the more travellers we have, the more money will be given. There is an opportunity being missed to break this vicious circle, especially as other countries e.g, Ireland are managing to make life hard for them so they enter Britain for an easier life.

Beds county council are supposed to carry out the will of the people of Beds and not to give vast sums of money to unpopular causes. May I suggest that the people of Eaton Bray write to the county council and let them know of their displeasure. Having said that, I bet I am the only one who does.

I should add that I am a local tradesman working mostly in Eaton Bray and Edlesborough and have reported motorcycles being riden at speed on the pavements by travellers on many occasions, but not once have the police showed up.

May 29, 2008, Mrs M says:

This is completely unacceptable. The state of the road this site sits on is a disgrace. These people ought to learn how to clear up after themselves before being given any handouts!!

June 15, 2008, mr john says:

i feel that the travelers should not be in eaton bray as they course a lot of trouble breaking into are sheds i have cort and seen them many of times the police dont wana no all that money being wasted you should think about other people who need it they dont

June 20, 2008, Mr H says:

I think this is a Disgrace !!! The travellors should be moved on, they tear around the village in their cars more than likly un insured, completly disregarding the safty of the locals, they are intimidating, noisy, rude and disrespectful, the grant should be given to the true residents of eaton bray in order to fund a court case to get the "travellors" site removed as they are a stain on our village

June 4, 2009, mrs smith says:

why don t everyone give them a break at the end of the day there might be some that cause trouble but you cant paint everyone with the same brush

June 21, 2009, Mr E says:

I would like to suggest that mrs Smith(above) gives the travellers her money, so we don't have to. If she wants to make a donation to them she only has to go out for a while and leave her front door open.

June 30, 2009, Alan says:

It is generally accepted that not only are our neighbours at the traveller's site above the law as has already been stated but they do not contribute to the economy by paying their full tax liabilities or pay insurances or MOT. If this feeling were only partly true, why commit hard earned tax payers money to such an unworthy cause.
The money should only be offered in return for a commitment on their part and anything less is totally unacceptable.
I am sure, at least I hope, that there are some decent fair minded residents in the site who through this web site could give their point of view.
Finally could the parish council be proactive and arrange a "friendly" opportunity for all residents and authorities to meet to encourage dialogue and understanding.
The word naive comes to mind.

November 27, 2009, David says:

I live in St. Albans, where we have more than our fair share of traveller sites.They are a constant nuisance, and to hear how much money is being wasted on them makes my blood boil. They are the same the world over. Every country has trouble with them.

August 14, 2012, AP says:

These comments are racist and i am outraged by them, Gypsy's are human beings and entitled to live their life, if they choose to adopt a nomadic life style then that is their choice.

August 14, 2012, Mr Z says:

AP, in what way are the comments "racist"?

Gypsies are entitled to live their life the way they choose, but like everyone else they should do so within the laws of the country they live in. Many do, but others cause trouble by breaking laws and give gypsies a bad name in the communities that they affect.

There is also much mistrust of city bankers because of the ones that have caused so much trouble for the country and in many cases they have not even broken any laws. Saying that you mistrust them and don't want them taking from you uninvited is not racist.

If you would like to speak up for the gypsy community in the area, why not write an interesting article about all the good they do in their local area and see if the local press and websites such as this one will publish it?

October 10, 2012, Tina says:

In responses to Mr Z, What would the interesting article contain?

I can't think of anything good that they do?

All I see is abandoned rubbish along Northall Road, tyres slashed, items stolen from villagers' sheds, they pull out in front of you when exiting their site, carry children in their vans without seatbelts, steal metal for scrap,...

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