Argument erupts over gypsies and travellers

The elected mayor of Doncaster today attacked the
“xenophobic” attitude to gypsies and travellers in many
councils, writes Mithran Samuel from the Local
Government Association conference in Harrogate.

Martin Winter made the comments at a bad tempered fringe meeting
on travellers at the Local Government Association annual conference
in which a number of district councillors focussed their comments
on the problems of unauthorised encampments.

He said “Do you not think it odd that 60 years after the
end of the holocaust, in which Hitler tried to wipe out the gypsy
population, we have such xenophobic attitudes in this

However, Bill Forester, head of the gypsy and traveller unit, at
Kent Council, said “I don’t pick that up. Everyone here
is dealing with it as best they can and we won’t make any
progress through generalisation.”


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