The shared provision of sites for Travelers is a model to follow | Letters

Your editorial (8 February) criticizing the Police Bill for further marginalizing the already isolated Traveler community is both timely and accurate. Rather than continuing to rely in the Bill on the hammer-and-hammer approach of shifting the problem of unauthorized encampments from one area to another – a proven and costly failure – central and local governments should seek to replicate the small successes of the past.

In the 1980s and 1990s Strathclyde Regional Council, in partnership with central government, the 19 constituent district councils and representatives of the traveler community, developed a network of serviced licensed sites for traveler use in the whole region, the costs of which were shared by all. advice, whether or not they host a site.

Although such an innovative policy required sustained political commitment and sometimes created controversy and friction, it was largely successful in ensuring the availability of safe housing for a persecuted minority, while improving knowledge and understanding between Travelers and sedentary communities.
Phil Murray
Linlithgow, West Lothian

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