On 4 June, I substituted for the Council Leader and attended the Community & Resources Committee meeting. This was well attended by the public, who were concerned by the agenda item to make the Cattle Market site a “tolerated trespass site” for travelers and gypsies.
The public felt that “tolerated trespass sites” merely served to encourage travelers to come to the area and that travelers had caused considerable problems on that site in the past.
A temporary site didn’t seem to be addressing the problem. It was going to cost £20,000 to make even the temporary site viable, which seemed a waste of public money. It’s more important to find a permanent site so people in the centre of Bideford don’t face any more disruption.
The committee voted unanimously to remove “tolerated trespass site” status from both Cattle Market and Bank End.
As the council no longer has any “tolerated trespass sites”, it does limit its powers to move travelers from any other sites they may occupy. This just makes it all the more urgent for the working group to find a suitable permanent site – and preferably not in the middle of Bideford.