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July 13, 2020
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Million pounds for South Somerset gypsies

Somerset District, UK, 8.2.2007 11:00, (Roma virtual network)

SOUTH Somerset District Council has been awarded nearly £1-million from the Department for Communities and Local Government towards works at the gypsy site at Ilton.

The money will help the council to bring the rest of the site up to a modern standard, enabling the residents of the site to have access to improved amenities, education and health provisions.

The council will also provide four extra pitches at the Ilton site for a new family. The grant will also help top enhance the security at the site, and add a children's play to the site.

The Government has provided this funding as part of the regional housing funding, councils in the South West have received £1.2-million, of that South Somerset secured nearly £930,000.

Cllr Ric Pallister, the council's portfolio holder for housing, environmental health and inclusion, said: "We are very pleased to have received this £930,000 grant towards refurbishing our gypsy site at Ilton.

"With more than 4,000 gypsies and travellers across the UK without secure site provision, we are delighted to play our part in helping those who need it.

"What this grant means is that we will be able to refurbish the site at Ilton up to modern day standards, improving the site security, amenities, and pitches. The gypsies will also be able to receive improved education, welfare, and health services.

"Having taken over management of the two gypsy sites - Ilton and Tintinhull - four years ago, we recognised that they needed to be brought up to modern day standards, and this grant will help to achieve that. It will not only benefit the families who are already onsite, but also the four families that will be re-housed when the work is carried out.

"The grant plays a vital role in helping to ensure that the additional pitches necessary to address the shortage of authorised sites and reduce levels of unauthorised camping, and the tensions that this can cause with the settled community, are provided; as well as improving the living conditions of gypsies and travellers through refurbishment."

By Steve Sowden
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