800 join the march to stop gipsy site

Issue 441

MORE than 800 protestors went on the march on Saturday against plans for a gipsy site on the DewsburyOssett border.
Tory MP Simon Reevell led a group from Dewsbury while Ossettbased RATS (Residents Against Travellers’ Site) marched from the opposite direction.
The two groups met in Owl Lane on their way to a rally at Dewsbury Rams’ Tetley’s Stadium, stopping traffic as they went.
Wakefield Council provoked anger when it was announced they planned to close Owl Lane tip in 2012 and replace it with a gipsy site.
Protestors have handed in a 3,000signature petition against the tip closure and another 2,000signature petition objecting to the gipsy site, allocated under the Local Development Framework (LDF).
Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Mr Reevell accused Wakefield Council of imposing the gipsy site on people in neighbouring Kirklees and added: “This is wrong. If Wakefield Council decides it is a good use of their council taxpayers’ money to build a gipsy site then they should do it in Wakefield not right on the boundary where it affects Kirklees people.
“There is a real determination to stop this and the public support is enormous. Even when we had to stop the traffic to let 300 people cross the road, drivers were pipping their horns in support.”
Wakefield Council has maintained that Government guidance requires councils to provide gipsy sites. But Mr Reevell said the new coalition was to scrap that guidance.
“It seems that Wakefield wanted to continue to follow obsolete documents for their own reasons but there are rumours now that the council will back down,” he said.
“I hope Wakefield Council sees sense.
“We are absolutely in the right and I am optimistic the decision will go our way.”
Mrs Angela Taylor, who organised the RATS group, said Ossett people were just as angry over the closure of the tip as they were over the gipsy site plan.
She said thousands of people had signed petitions or written letters and added: “Given more time I am certain almost everyone in Ossett would have objected.”
There was speculation that Wakefield Council leader Peter Box was set to speak out against the gipsy plan but a council spokesman insisted the proposal was still part of the LDF document which was under consideration.

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