The number of illegal traveller encampments in the borough has reduced in recent years however; tension still exists between travellers and the settled community particularly during incursions. Crawley does not have an authorised site for gypsies and travellers and this can sometimes exacerbate the problem.
To help reduce tensions the council strikes a careful balance between positive engagements with those involved and a well established legal process to deal with new encampments.
The council’s Community Liaison Officer has made some inroads into positive engagement with certain members of the Travelling community. For example, he has assisted an elderly traveller, living in settled accommodation, to complete an application for subsidised travel through Crawley Community Transport. In addition, he worked with West Sussex County Council on encouraging a traveller family to attend a summer youth event where one of their children received a certificate for boxing.
Where an illegal traveller encampment occurs, the Community Liaison Officer works with the council’s Community Wardens to communicate and update officers, councillors and members of the public about what is happening. This includes updating the pre-recorded message on the council’s Traveller Information Helpline (see below) and liaising with Sussex Police to look for an early resolution.
The council are working in partnership with South East of England Regional Assembly to investigate the feasibility of building an authorised site.
John Dale – Community Liaison Officer
Tel: 01293 438412
Council’s Traveller Information Helpline Line – 01293 438219
Friends Families and Travellers, Community Base
113 Queens Road, Brighton, E. Sussex, BN1 3XG
Tel: 01273 234 777, email .
(01293) 438000 (8.30am-5pm)
(01293) 551636 (out of hours emergency)
fax: (01293) 511803
email: click to email us
West Sussex RH10 1UZ
Open Mon to Fri 8.30am-5pm