Gypsies and Travellers

Committee Minutes

Thu Oct 05 2006

Related Documents:
agenda for these minutes

Present

Councillors Berman (Chairman) and Pennington

31 Apologies

Councillors Bray, Giles, Hobden and Nicholson

32 Quorum

The quorum was not achieved and the meeting was adjourned.

The meeting started at 10.30 am and finished at 10.35 am

There followed an informal discussion of the items detailed on the Agenda for the meeting.

1 Minutes

The meeting received the minutes of the meeting held on 26 May 2006.

2 Forum Meeting with Traveller and Gypsy representatives

Councillor Berman referred a Forum meeting of County/District council and other representatives with Gypsy and Traveller representatives held on 28 September 2006 which had been informative and constructive.

3 Devon Specialist Housing Need Assessment

The meeting received the report of the Chief Executive (CX/06/95) on the progress of the specialist Housing Need Assessment in Devon in respect of Gypsies and Travellers in Devon. The final needs assessment report was due in October/ November with dissemination events shortly after. A report would be made to the Gypsy and Travellers Committee when the assessment was published. It appeared that there would be scope to draw partners together to consider the findings and agree the next steps.

A Seminar at South Hams District Council was scheduled for 18 October at which Councillor Berman would be making a short presentation with the GTLO. It appeared that generally the Districts were aware of the issues and implications involved in making adequate provision within the Local Development Plan Framework and on the ground for transit and permanent sites based on the evidence from the Assessment.

4 Local Development Framework

The meeting received the report of the Chief Executive (CX/06/96) on draft County Council advice for local planning authorities on the needs of the Gypsy and Travelling communities in Devon. The advice document would cover an introduction and legal background; definition of Gypsies and Travellers; key issues to address; preparation of the Local Development Frameworks and Site Selection; Liaison and Partnership Working ; and relevant statistical and information.

5 Management of Sowton and Broadclyst Gypsy and Traveller Sites

The meeting received the report of the Chief Executive (CX/06/97) on new in-house management arrangements for the sites at Sowton and Broadclyst. Including the recruitment of an Assistant GLTO which was underway, there would be some anticipated minor revenue savings. However additional maintenance/structural works was required at the Sowton site, for which professional advice/estimates and schedules had been requested from the Property Unit. It was noted with concern by the members present that this professional advice was still outstanding, following a request made approximately one month ago. It was hoped that some information from the Unit would be available for a site meeting by Councillor Berman and the GTLO to be held on Tuesday, 10 October. Councillor Berman requested the detailed information about the proposed improvements works when available.

The meeting also noted its concerns about the actions of the former external Management Company (for the Sowton site). The Company had its withdrawn its services without notice, as contractually required. A letter on this had been sent to the Company on 10 July and to date no satisfactory response had been received. The Company nonetheless had contacted the Council about an outstanding invoice to which the County Solicitor would be responding.

There would be a managed reduction of the Broadclyst site as families moved off their pitches, leading to a vacant site in the longer term, in accordance with the wishes of the National Trust, owners of the land. There would be no forced evictions and regular checks would be made by the Council and the Trust as pitches were vacated. It was recognised that the Trust had been very helpful in working with the Council and other agencies in reaching an acceptable solution.

6 Devon Consortium Travellers Education Service - Annual Report 2004/05

This matter was deferred to the next meeting.

7 Future Meeting

The meeting noted future dates as follows:

Wednesday, 6 December 10.30 am; Thursday, 1 February 2007 at 10.30; Thursday, 17 May 2007 all at 10.30 am at County hall, Exeter

Councillor Berman requested that budget reports for the current and next financial years be presented at the next meeting of the Committee.

The informal meeting started at 10.35 am and finished at 11.00 am

Date Published: Wed May 23 2007