Fenland eye - National recognition for traveller work

FENLAND District Council is to be held up by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) as a national beacon on how best to address traveller issues. For many years the council has built a reputation for dealing fairly, firmly and honestly with travellers i

FENLAND District Council is to be held up by the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) as a national beacon on how best to address traveller issues.For many years the council has built a reputation for dealing fairly, firmly and honestly with travellers in the district and this has now been recognised by the CRE, which is sending a team to look at how it the council has achieved success where other authorities are consistently failing.CRE members will be visiting Fenland early in February to talk to travellers living on sites in the district. They will also talk to the council's chief executive Tim Pilsbury, council traveller and diversity manager David Bailey, council traveller sites officer Tina Furnell and portfolio holder with responsibility for travellers Councillor Kit Owen.The CRE is compiling best practice guidance on traveller issues for circulation to local authorities across the country and Fenland is being held up as a paragon of how to address the many complex issues involving travellers.Fenland Council excels at:- Being sensitive to the culture and traditions when developing services for travellers- Ensuring traveller sites are well run- Working with travellers looking to buy land to put sites on- Developing a positive rapport with travellers who set up illegal encampments in order to achieve early resolution- Adopting a firm, fair and honest approach to resolving traveller issues.Cllr Owen said: "We have for many years worked closely with the travelling community to ensure that we meet their needs and to deal effectively with any illegal occupations. "We have found that by being firm, fair, honest and consistent, we have won the respect of travellers and this is a key element in maintaining an on-going positive relationship between the council and travellers. It has also meant we have been able to avoid the costly and combative situations that have arisen in many parts of the country.


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