A MIDLANDS scrap dealer who travels for several months of the year has contacted The Standard to call for more understanding towards travellers.
It follows stories about injunctions being taken out in a bid to stop illegal traveller incursions and camps on Buntsford Drive and Gate.
The man – who is based in Stoke-on-Trent and would only be known as Dean – said: “There are few legal sites around but it would be good if there were more to save us parking on the roadside – they don’t even need to be permanent, they could be temporary as most travellers only move around at certain times of the year.”
He said he did not travel now as much as he had done in the past but, he added, whenever he travelled with his wife, children and five dogs, they always used proper designated sites where possible, used a chemical toilet, emptying it in the proper places when they could and they also had a transit pick-up which they used to take away any rubbish they accumulated.
He said he, and most of the other travellers he knew, were happy to pay for their stay and the cost of skips so waste could be disposed of properly without the cost to the taxpayer.
“We have stayed on holiday sites in the past and paid our way, but on a number of occasions, when the owners have found out we are travellers, they have asked us to move on.”
And he said he felt media reports did not give a fair reflection of the traveller community.
“There are people here who have met me and my family and their opinion of travellers has changed because they have got to know us.
“There needs to be more of that – people need to be educated.
“It is the minority who cause problems, but there are a lot of travellers out there like me who work hard, pay our taxes and are valued members of the community.”
A Worcestershire County Council spokesperson said the authority managed eight sites across the county but none of them were in Bromsgrove district.
She added the one site in Bromsgrove was on private land.
“Identifying new sites is a district council function, not a county council function, although we are consulted and involved to some extent in this process,” she added.
A Bromsgrove District Council spokesperson said there were policies in the emerging plans for Bromsgrove and for Redditch that provided criteria against which a possible application for a site could be assessed.
“In the normal way an individual could identify a site and apply for planning permission and we would evaluate any application against the policy.
“The number of pitches on such a site would need to be commensurate with the need for pitches identified in the study below.
“A plan for the area in due course will identify a site with the requisite number of pitches if needed at the time of plan making.”