Gypsy & Traveller Site Consultation Starts
A public consultation to help identify new sites for Gypsies and Travellers starts on Friday, November the 18th 2011.
Dorset's councils including Bournemouth and Poole are working together on a joint Development Plan Document (DPD) to meet local needs for pitches over the next 15 years.
There will also be public exhibitions to give people the chance to comment on the issues and locations being proposed and suggest alternatives.
And for those unable to attend the events, there will also be the chance to give their views online.
Under the terms of the Housing Act 2004, local authorities must assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers and identify where new pitches should be located.
Having more official permanent and transit sites will enable the police to use enhanced powers to move on illegally-camped Travellers much more quickly, as well as giving travelling communities access to services, healthcare and education.
Since June 2010 independent consultants Baker Associates have been talking to landowners, Gypsies and Travellers and interest groups to draw up a shortlist of possible locations for Dorset.
These sites, together with others so far ruled out, are being outlined in the consultation roadshows.
The exhibitions display information on the issues to be addressed, potential new sites and their locations. The public can also comment on the number of suggested sites, how they should be provided and who should run them.
Consultants and officers are on hand to answer questions, and visitors can take away consultation booklets and forms to give their views. Information and response forms will also be available online from 18 November at www.dorsetforyou.com/travellerpitches, as well as at your local council office, library and many town or parish council offices.
The consultation closes on 10 February and all comments should be received by that date.
Feedback will be considered by the consultants before a revised site shortlist is published towards summer 2012 for councils to consider. A further round of public consultation will follow the council's consideration of this revised list.
Robert Gould, Dorset County Council's Cabinet member for environment, said;
"Exhibitions are taking place in each district so that local people, businesses, Gypsy and Traveller representatives and interest groups can hear all the information, discuss the suggested locations for the site and offer opinions.
"No decision has been made to date on the locations for the sites and the roadshows are an opportunity for everyone to have their say and provide information on potential sites not already listed."
You can also give your views in writing to:
Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople consultation
The dates and locations for the exhibition events are as follows:
Date and venue Event
21st November 10am-2pm The Exchange, Sturminster Newton Exhibition
21st November 3.30-7.30pm The Mowlem, Shore Road, Swanage Exhibition
24th November 12.00-3.30pm Allendale Community Centre, Wimborne Exhibition
24th November 5.00-8.00.pm Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Christchurch Exhibition
28th November 10.00am-2.00pm Christchurch Market (or Council chamber if Market cancelled) Exhibition
28th November 3.30-7.30 pm The Hub, Verwood Exhibition
1st December 2-5.30pm D'Urberville Centre, Colliers Lane, Wool Exhibition
2nd December 10.00 - 12.30 Council Chamber, North Dorset District Council, Blandford Exhibition
5th December 10am-2pm Poole Central Library Exhibition
5th December 3.30-7.30pm Bournemouth Training Centre, Jewell Road, Bournemouth Exhibition
6th December 2.30-7pm Church of the Good Shepherd Herbert Ave Poole Exhibition
8th December 10.00am - 12.30pm Gillingham Town Hall, Gillingham Exhibition
8th December 2-7pm The Guildhall, The Town Hall, Shaftesbury Exhibition
13th December 3-7pm Bournemouth Library, The Triangle Exhibition
9th January 12-3pm Corn Exchange, Dorchester Exhibition
9th January 5pm - 8pm The Ocean Room, Weymouth Pavilion Exhibition
10th January 12pm - 3pm The Ocean Room, Weymouth Pavilion Exhibition
10th January 5-8pm Beaminster Town Hall, Beaminster Exhibition