Cardenden considered for travellers site

A FORMER landfill site in Cardenden is being considered as a stopover site for Gypsy Travellers.

The former Bowbridge Site is, alongside Cairneyhill, Crossgates and Crail, proposed as a possible location for short term use as they make their way through the Kingdom.

The four sites, which would cost a total of £10,000 and provide water, toilet facilities and bins, were revealed at Fife Council’s housing and communities meeting on Tuesday.

They would be available for six to eight caravans for a period of four to six weeks.

Tough decisions

Councillor Alice McGarry, chairman of the Gypsy Travellers Working Group, told the committee that the sites were necessary to prevent problems of large unauthorised camps which have caused problems in a number of towns in Fife in recent years.

She added: “We need to separate genuine concern around the suitablity of the sites from the prejudice that exists around gypsy travellers.

“We can’t put off hard decisions just because they are hard.”

John Mills, senior housing manager, told the committee that the Council had submitted a paper to COSLA and the Association of Chief Police Officers pushing for a change in the law which would allow more action to be taken against travellers who refuse to move on.

Cllr David Ross said that it was right that the Council was taking a more robust view.

He added: “We need to look at the impact that some of these unauthorised encampments have on businesses, who have been saddled with significant bills.”

The stopover site proposals have met with concern from members of the local community.

David Taylor, secretary of Cardenden Community Council, said a number of factors made Bowbridge unsuitable - it was close to houses, and sat on a double bend in the road.

He added: “Six weeks is still quite a long time. I think the general consensus is we wouldn’t be happy with the site being here.”