Traveller summit to be held in Inverurie

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A SPECIAL summit to try and ease tensions between the settled community and travellers in Aberdeenshire will be held in Inverurie next month.

The meeting, organised by the Grampian Police Joint Board, is to take place in the town hall on April 5, and will be attended by various representatives from Aberdeenshire council, the police and community councils, local councillors and MSPs. 15 gypsy travellers, including some of those based at Clinterty, have also been invited to attend.

Organisers have said that the aim of the summit is to improve relations and ease tension within the north-east community and to seek consensus and support for a fresh approach to the issue. It also aims to build cross-party and community support for the establishment of short-stay sites.

Funding of more than £150,000 was awarded to tackle the problems of unauthorised traveller camps in the north east of Scotland last week.

Aberdeen City Council will get £120,000, with £37,000 being allocated for Aberdeenshire. Ellon residents recently voiced their opposition to controversial proposals for a travellers’ transit site close to the town.

The preferred Balmacassie site is earmarked for development, however almost 200 local people raised objections to the choice of site.