Funding for traveller site supported by councillors

W34641H13  Traverlers at Durrington High School in August
W34641H13 Traverlers at Durrington High School in August

ADUR and Worthing councils agreed to contribute £162,500 each towards a county-wide traveller site to be built near Chichester at the joint strategic committee meeting on Tuesday night.

The nine-pitch purpose-built transit site will cost £1.3million, to be funded in part by the county’s various district councils, as well as West Sussex County Council.

The local authorities hope to obtain a grant of around £540,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency to help fund the site.

Worthing Borough Council leader Paul Yallop said illegal encampments and the council’s inability to deal with them had generated an awful lot of anger in the local community.

“I believe we should support this. I think if we don’t, our residents will quite rightly accuse us of not dealing with an issue which is very high on their agendas,” he said.

“This is the only solution on the table and I think we all agree that together in West Sussex we are going to continue to suffer and be seen as a soft touch because at the moment East Sussex are doing things, Hampshire are doing things, and the obvious soft touch is to come into West Sussex where we are not co-ordinating our approach.”

Cllr Tom Wye described the scheme as ‘spend to save’ because the investment would outweigh the cleanup costs associated with illegal encampments.

In 2013 Worthing Borough Council spent £13,800 dealing with unauthorised camps and £20,350 trying to deter travellers.

It is hoped the site will be complete by February 2015.