Gloucestershire

Travellers' sites 'could be run by social landlords'

Travellers' sites in Gloucestershire could be moved to a social housing organisation in a bid to save cash.

Conservative-run Gloucestershire County Council said the plans were being drawn up because budget cuts had left a lack of funds to upgrade its four sites.

Economy and environment spokesman Chas Fellows said social landlords would have access to government grants.

But former traveller liaison officer Martin Cambridge said he feared site standards would not be kept up.

'Borrow money'

"If it goes to a private landlord then they can borrow money on the open market," Mr Cambridge said.

"But like any private company they are in it to make money so any profit they make they'll keep.

"No social landlord will want to run the sites at a loss... so to my way of thinking they won't keep up with repairs or the standards that are on the sites at the moment," he added.

Council cabinet member Mr Fellows said the travellers preferred the continuity offered by dealing with the county council.

"If we can overcome those problems then the [travelling] community will be more receptive to transferring to a social landlord.

"I really hope that will be the outcome," he added.

The county council owns four residential sites at Sandhurst Land, Gloucester; Cursey Lane, Elmstone; Showborough, Twyning, and Culkerton near Tetbury.

There are a number of privately-owned sites in the Tewkesbury and Gloucester areas.

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