Fringe Box



Letter: We Need To Keep Party Politics Out of the Effingham Travellers’ Issue

Published on: 23 Jul, 2015
Updated on: 23 Jul, 2015
Cllr Liz Hogger

Cllr Liz Hogger

From Liz Hogger

Lib Dem borough councillor for Effingham

Guildford Dragon readers may be bemused by the report of a recent meeting about Home Farm’s Traveller community which caused controversy because of the attendance of Monika Juneja, closely followed by a Dragon interview where Ms Juneja made various grandiose pronouncements on the issue.

Perhaps, as Effingham’s borough councillor who has worked with our Home Farm Traveller community for some years, I could clarify what this is all about.

For several years, a committee made up of Home Farm residents (including Travellers and non-Travellers), parish councillors and residents association representatives, has been working together to persuade Guildford Borough Council [GBC] to make improvements to the council-owned  parts of the Home Farm estate.

Several GBC officers, including Sue Sturgeon and Chris Mansfield, deserve credit for their interest and willingness to come to Effingham to talk directly to residents.

The latest agreed project is for the council to provide six Traveller pitches on council-owned land to help several local families who urgently need decent accommodation.

There are some planning hurdles to overcome, and the whole project is taking far too long. I share the frustration of our Traveller ambassadors, and if the recent meeting can help speed things up then I welcome that.

However it would be a shame if  Ms Juneja’s presence distracted from the main issue, and I regret that in her interview she chose to make an extraordinary political comment apparently blaming the opposition for the inadequate provision of Traveller pitches across the borough.

This is of course both inaccurate and unhelpful. We need to keep party politics out of this and just get on with trying to improve the situation of Traveller families in need of a decent home.

I will be pleased to work with Cllr Spooner and Cllr Mansbridge to sort out the planning problems and make sure these much-needed pitches for Effingham residents are provided as soon as possible.

Share This Post

Leave a Comment

Please see our comments policy. All comments are moderated and may take time to appear.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *