BathNES Liberal Democrats
Serving Bath and North East Somerset
Working For You - All Year Round
by Nathan Hartley
B&NES Council will continue to listen to the views of local residents about gypsy and traveller sites following a vote at a special Council meeting today. A Conservative attempt to cut off the on-going pre-consultation was defeated by Lib Dem, Labour and Independent Councillors.
In the debate, Lib Dem Councillors thanked residents for their continuing engagement with the pre-consultation and criticised the Conservatives for playing politics and exploiting residents’ expectations about the decision-making power of the meeting.
Councillor Ben Stevens (Liberal Democrat, Widcombe) said:
“After 4 years of insincere Conservative-run consultations, it is hardly surprising that the public would be sceptical, but this is a genuine listening exercise. By trying to curtail this consultation, the Tories are not trusting residents to speak for themselves.”
Councillor Jeremy Sparks (Liberal Democrat, Clutton) said:
“I have received assurances that the Cabinet is listening to the concerns of myself and my residents and I am sure that they will make the right decision at the end of this pre-consultation to drop the sites which are so obviously unsuitable.”
Councillor Simon Allen (Liberal Democrat, Radstock) commented:
“I am passionate about two things related to this issue: for people to have safe and legal places to live, and, that communities are consulted on their opinion. This process must continue to ensure we achieve legal, safe sites in a timely way which does not draw this process out longer than has already been the case.”