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Travellers must respect public land that is there for all of us.

Byline: By DENISE ROBERTSON Western Mail

At last, a ruling to stop 'travellers', whether of Irish or Roma or New Age dropout origin, from setting up camp where they will. Leeds City Council has been given the right to evict a family of travellers from the public recreation ground where they had decided to set up home.

The travellers claimed they had the right, under the Human Rights Act, to stay there. The court ruled that they were, in effect, squatters and could be moved on.

I approve of the ruling. No one has the right to do as they please with public land.

But the problem of travellers will not go away because of one court ruling.

The Government is naturally anxious to diminish their nomadic existence. It is not acceptable in 2006 for children to be moved from school to school or even stay away from school altogether.

Travellers must be given the opportunity to settle, put down roots and become part of communities. Their traditions must be treated with respect, but they, in return, must accept our right to retain public land for all the people, not just the few who decide to take it over.
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 14, 2006
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