Outrage at Taxpayers' Helpline for Travellers'

Tuesday, 22 February, 2005

David Ruffley MP this week expressed his anger on behalf of local residents in Elmswell, Woolpit and Norton. Whilst the planning system was becoming increasingly unfair and discriminating in favour of unauthorised traveller encampments, the Government is now funding a helpline providing advice on how to work the system in their favour.

David said:

'Mr Blair's human rights laws and planning regulations have made it increasingly difficult for local councils to enforce planning laws, stop unauthorised developments and evict illegal occupiers. Travellers are now able to disregard planning laws, while hard working families and small firms are facing soaring fees to make a proper planning application.

'Even more controversially, free legal hotlines are now being provided, funded by taxpayers' money, to help travellers to stay in their illegal encampments, while legal aid for hard working families is being slashed. The cost of this is being met directly by local people and is at the expense of local law abiding citizens.'

David added:

'People in Mid Suffolk and St Edmundsbury have an inherent sense of fair play. There shouldn't be one rule for some and another for others. But law-abiding citizens are now the forgotten majority. Only Conservatives offer less talk and more action to tackle these growing problems.'