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Teignbridge District Council's cash offer to get travellers to move sites

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 10, 2013

Comments (6)

A cash-strapped council is offering travellers £500 to spend on their caravans if they move off an illegal campsite.

Teignbridge District Council is spending £1.1 million on an alternative home for the 15 families currently living on Haldon Hill, near Exeter.

But despite offering individual plots of land, allotments, a children's play area, and environmentally friendly features such as composting bins, most of the travellers want to stay put.

The local authority is now offering them each £500 to upgrade their vehicles and caravans as an inducement to move to the new site, currently under construction. but the move has angered locals, who say the handouts come as local services face severe cutbacks and austerity measures.

For the past 12 years, Haldon Hill has been home to caravans, old buses, huts and shelters housing up to 100 travellers, causing tensions with the local community.

Following a ten-year struggle to find a solution, Teignbridge District Council won a massive government grant to upgrade facilities and build a legal camp in nearby Haldon Ridge. It expected travellers to jump at the chance to upgrade to the new-look camp, but only a handful of families signed up.

Local campaigner Dudley Swain said the £500 handouts would leave council tax payers "pretty miffed". But the council defended the use of public money, saying it would help the new camp progress and enable the old site to be reclaimed more quickly.

The funds can only be used on roadworthy vehicles.

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  • DevonJanner  |  December 10 2013, 4:24PM

    £500 ,how demeaning!

    Rate 0
  • Wyrdsister1  |  December 10 2013, 11:27AM

    Did the WMN talk to the travellers to find out exactly WHY they don't want to move to the new site? Thought not. There is far more to this story, but the WMN only want to give the public a small picture - so long as that picture is 'travellers are bad/ungrateful/etc. For once could a local paper fulfill its journalistic duties and report from all the sides of the story? Is that SO much to ask?

    Rate 0
  • TopMinstrel  |  December 10 2013, 10:44AM

    This is a very clear demonstration to the Public that the Clowncils haven't got a clue and are totally out of touch with the thoughts and needs of the TAX PAYER

    Rate   3
  • DrNikkiBedwel  |  December 10 2013, 10:05AM

    Local Councils do not represent us and do not work for us. As we pay for them it is about time we demanded change. The sad and sorry British need to learn how to protest again.

    Rate   3
  • nicold  |  December 10 2013, 9:52AM

    And how have they earned the £500? Not paid Council Tax and parked their caravans illegally! The bosses at Teignbridge Council need their heads examined!

    Rate   10
  • Pink_Diesel  |  December 10 2013, 8:50AM

    There is a housing crisis in tthis country. Travellers are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    Rate   -7