Council to spend £500,000 on traveller sites

Almost £500,000 pounds will be spent creating new travellers' sites and improving existing pitches in Corby.

Corby Council was awarded 475,000 as part of the 2009-10 Gypsy and Traveller Site Grant in order for them to refurbish four pitches and provide four new ones at the Phoenix Park site in Gretton Brooke Road.

The funding is awarded to councils and housing associations to provide new social rented sites and to help pay for the refurbishment of existing sites for travellers, new age travellers and travelling show people. Corby was one of just two councils in the East Midlands to be awarded the grants.

Margaret Allen, East Midlands regional director for the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which awards the grant, said: "The aim of the grant programme is to increase the number and quality of authorised sites throughout England.

"Roughly a quarter of all gypsy and traveller caravans have no authorised site, despite a desire by their owners to have a permanent base."

Next year 32m will be allocated to sites around the country for similar projects.

Corby Council leader, Pat Fawcett said: "We are very pleased to have been awarded 450,000 from the Homes and Communities Agency.

"The fuding is allocated to our travellers site off Gretton Brooke Road and will enable us to create a further four pitches for Corby's travelling community."

Angela Bronger, of Rockingham Road, said: "It is good because if these sites are fit for purpose they won't be setting up camps all over the place."

But Ronald Davies, of Telfords Lane, Corby, said: "This money could have gone towards more worthy causes."