MSP calls for inquiry into travellers site dispute
ANGRY Cairneyhill residents remain at loggerheads with Fife Council over the decision to give the go-ahead for a travellers' stop-over site just outside the village.
And the village's community council is furious over Fife Council claims that consultation definitely took place.
They maintain there was none and that when a public hall was booked for a meeting on the subject the Fife Council representative pulled out.
Their sense of injustice is exacerbated by the fact that at Crossgates - where locals were able to make clear their opposition at a public meeting - the plan was dropped.
MSP and local councillor Bill Walker has been "bombarded" with calls on the matter and called for Fife Council's chief executive to investigate the matter urgently.
Cairneyhill Community Council member Allan Arbuthnott contacted the Press to ask, "What date did this supposed consultation take place? Where did this consultation meeting take place?
"Who represented Cairneyhill Community Council at this consultation meeting?
"Who represented Fife Council at this consultation meeting?
"What were the feelings expressed by the Cairneyhill Community Council representatives to the proposed stop-over site?
"Where are the minutes from this alleged consultation, as in order to constitute a valid consultation paper, minutes would and should have been taken?
"As a Cairneyhill community councillor, I can say categorically that no consultation has taken place over the proposed stop-over site at Cairneyhill.
"A further claim by Fife Council needs to be questioned. They claim that this area in Cairneyhill has been used for years as an illegal stopover site by travellers.
"This statement is incorrect. In the past year some gypsy travellers have occupied the site illegally but prior to that time, access was securely blocked off at both ends to prevent unlawful entry."
John Emery-Barker, of Torryburn Community Council, contacted Fife Council to point out they had not been formally consulted either and "as this site is actually in our ward boundaries this should be remedied".
He told the Press, "In my view their decision to go to the next stage without proper consultation is at best rude and at worst illegal."
MSP Bill Walker said, "I am very concerned about much I have read and heard from Fife Council officer sources regarding what has been happening over the gypsy travellers' stop-over site process.
"I have been bombarded by constituents for comment but instead today I am asking Ronnie Hinds to urgently enquire into what has been happening over the last year or so in the process of searching for gypsy travellers' stop-over sites. This should be at the highest level.
"I do not wish to pre-judge Mr Hinds' inquiry but I am particularly concerned about the apparent misinformation that was included in a report presented last week to the housing and communities committee concerning the findings of the Gypsy Travellers Working Group.
"There are now further allegations of a large number of very serious inaccuracies concerning a proposed stop-over site at Cairneyhill.
"It is claimed by community representatives that there has been no consultation with 'community councils and members of the public', completely contrary to what the official paperwork claims."
Mr Walker added, "Other very serious allegations have been made about the whole official process concerning the search for gypsy travellers' stop-over sites which have caused me to request an urgent investigation into all the circumstances by Mr Hinds.
"I hope that this can be done quickly to get to the bottom of the matter, which is causing great concern to local residents and other affected parties."
Fife Council failed to respond when contacted by the Press.
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Sep 2, 08:53
Sep 2, 16:16
Sep 2, 18:05
Sep 2, 20:47
Sep 3, 12:26
Sep 4, 20:12
I take it neither see bee 88 and bicyclebob have never had the dubious pleasure of having travellers set up camp near him. I have had the unfortunate experience of this 3 times, albeit illegal campsites rather than organised.
So - loud music, generators running 24/7, unruly dogs/children running wild, human excrement left wherever they want to leave it, bags and bags of rotting household waste left for someone other than themselves to clear up, seen dumping white goods they had no doubt charged to take to the tip, broken glass left all over foot paths, seen throwing gas canisters onto a bonfire.
These are the same people that Fife Council want to have staying in organised facilities, do you honestly think they are going to change their behaviour?
A lot of them are "Irish Travellers", why aren't they travelling round Ireland - well, majority of them have never set foot in Ireland and secondly, what they do in this country is illegal in Ireland - says it all really!
Recommend? Yes 32 No 2
Sep 7, 14:48
Sep 9, 16:39
Sep 12, 16:06
I take it that bicyclebob & CeeBee88 are from valleyfield and used to the human excrement and unruly behaviour. Stick the Gypo's through there or up in Oakley. Keep them out off the most respectable village in Fife. Cairneyhill and proud.....
Recommend? Yes 7 No 7
Sep 14, 22:33
2 scrap caravans left at the site for the tax payer to foot the bill to get rid off, not to mention the caravan they left in the crombie layby, glass, dog excrement, human excrement and general waste left strewn all over the area, white goods dumped down the railway embankment, the list goes on. its easy to say give them a chance but before you do visit a recentley vacated site and see if you would find it acceptable.
Recommend? Yes 4 No 0
Sep 20, 14:52
I totally agree with the comments regarding lack of consultation. There appears to be a recurring theme with the three sites, Crail, Cardenden and Cairneyhill, the council report consultation has taken place and all is well when in fact NO consultation has taken place at all. As a resident of Cardenden, we too have asked for consultation and it has either been cancelled or postponed. I agree there must be a legal side to this as the council appear to have misled and LIED by giving incorrect information and have made no attempt to resolve the anxieties that three communities have in regards to this matter. Does anyone know a lawyer who would be willing to represent the three communities?
Recommend? Yes 1 No 0