Move travellers on demand residents

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Gypsies have come to loggerheads with residents in Matlock Bath who want to turf them off a public car park.

The two families who turned up at the Matlock Bath car park next to the train station just over two months ago have asked for some sympathy to their situation – claiming all they want is a home to call their own.

But residents and businesses have put in a petition to Derbyshire Dales District Council asking for the travellers to be moved on after more caravans were seen arriving at the site.

A Matlock Bath resident, who did not wish to be named said: “We have been campaigning to try and get them to go.

“We started out with four caravans, now there are six.

“The trouble is it’s our main car park and they are taking up quite a lot of space. We’re just about at our wits end now and we don’t think anybody can do anything.”

Siobhan Spencer, a liaison officer from the Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group has been working with the travellers and is in the process of trying to find them a permanent home which is what they would prefer.

One of the travellers, who did not wish to be named, said: “For a very long time we have been like this and where ever we go we get moved on. We get called all sorts of names.”

Getting access to doctors appointments and to education are just two of the challenges the families face if they are constantly on the move.

One mother living in the caravans explained: “I’ve got four children but only one out of the four can read.

“We’re human beings we just want the same things everyone wants – showers, toilets, an education for the children.”

She explained that she had been a Gypsy her entire life and couldn’t live in a house.

“It’s just what we’re used to,” she said.

“It would be like someone who lives in a house coming into a caravan and saying ‘I can’t live in here’.

She said the solution to the problem would be to let them settle on their own land.

“If you don’t want Gypsies on your doorstep then don’t stop them from having their own land.”