Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gypsy v Traveller

In this weeks local paper MP Gordon Henderson complained that so called travellers should not have preferential treatment with planning regulations and he is totally right yet my main problem is with the word traveller? Surely the word means to travel so why do they want a permanent base? The last Labour government made the ridiculous assumption that a Traveller was a Gypsy and should be treated as an ethnic minority, one could argue that a true Romany Gypsy is ethnically different to the rest of English population as they can trace their linage back hundreds of years but these so called Travellers need none of that all they need is a caravan and no permanent abode to claim special treatment.

My son’s God Father is a proper Romany Gypsy plus an ex international Judo Player he no longer takes to the road he lives in a very nice house in Bexley his daughter is a lawyer and his son is a Doctor putting paid to the myth that all Gypsies are thick but his parents were of old stock. They would travel around Kent in their caravan during fruit picking and harvest time taking on work and then return to their permanent home in Bexley for the winter. That has all stopped because all our Farmers in Kent will no longer employ them or local women to do these jobs; they now have thousands of Easter Europeans workers so much for loyalty to the indigenous population.

Can I make a suggestion if these so called travellers want to build a mobile home park let them go through the relevant planning and then give up their rights to classified as a special group, the rest well as someone who own caravan let them do what I do. When I use my caravan I travels to various campsite etc where I pitch my caravan most site have adequate washing and toilet facilities and after a period move on to another site. I expect some entrepreneur could build a lot of extra caravan sites in the UK for them to travel to, as with most sites a maximum stay of 3 weeks would only be allowed the owner would take a fee part of which would go to the local council to help pay Council Tax. These travellers would not get any benefits unless they had paid NI and Income tax, what they would get would be food vouchers and sufficient fuel to get them from site to site, any collection of scrap would be registered with the owner of the camp who would inform the local authorities to see if they had the correct license and there earning could be taxed in fact you could go one step further every one selling scrap to a scrap yard would have to prove they are paying tax otherwise 25% could be deducted at source and paid direct to the revenue. A school hut could be on sight with a resident teacher and a local Doctor could be brought in to visit the site once a week this could all be included in the pitch hire.

Once a network of these sites were built there would be no need for illegal pitching someone illegally parked would have 2 days to move on otherwise they would have their caravan confiscated These so called Travellers are no more then hedge bumpers and give real Gypsies a bad name .

Martin Clarke Sittingbourne

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