We attended the Parish Council Extraordinary Meeting this evening, along with the BBC and pretty much every person in Whaddon and Meldreth plus a number from Kneesworth, Bassingbourn, Orwell, Shepreth and Melbourn. A few things struck home:
- The Showmen and Settled Communities in Meldreth are well integrated and co-habit to mutual benefit
- While none of the South Cambs District Council seems to remember what it was like to have an uncontrollable Gypsy / Traveller site at Mettle Hill – the local people do and they are genuinely terrified
- The Showmen and Gypsy / Traveller communities are distinct and incompatible
- Opening Mettle Hill as a Gypsy / Travellersite will lead to the Showmen leaving immediately, probably to an illegal site elsewhere in South Cambs
- The Showmen abandoning their pitches will have no option to sell-up. The likely buyers would be Gypsy / Travellers.
So you’ll have a settled and integrated minority displaced and their human rights ignored, to be replaced by a Gypsy / Traveller site which has the potential for being illegally expanded.
Dale Farm II anyone?