Questions to be asked over gypsies

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HAVING read in last Friday’s Observer (July 27), Laura Button’s report on gypsies and RDC’s efforts to accommodate them, and having then discussed this problem with a number of friends, it seems to us that it would be a good idea if a member of the council would answer a number of questions which were raised (examples listed below), and which we suspect perplex a number of local residents.

1. What right have they to occupy private land without the owners permission?

2. From where, and how, do they obtain supplies of gas, electricity and water?

3. What arrangements are made for sanitation, and by whom?

4. Who is responsible for providing, and paying for, their medical and educational needs?

5. How do they earn a living?

6. Do they pay Community and other taxes?

7. Who provides the money to enable them to pay the legal fees required to fight eviction orders?

8. Why, when the Criminal Justice & Public Order act of 1994 removed the duty of UK local authorities to provide sites for Travellers, even giving them powers to close down existing ones, do RDC staff spend their time, and our money, on trying to accommodate them?

If RDC cannot provide answers to these questions via the Observer, perhaps a member of the Traveller community could oblige, in a democratic manner of course.

John Hill

Glengorse, Battle