Launched this month, the call for sites aims to identify land on which to locate three short-stay stopping sites for the Gypsy and Traveller community. Suffolk currently does not have any sites of this type. Between 2009 and July 2015, the county has seen 280 unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller encampments. These encampments cost taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds each year to deal with. Other counties which have established short-stay stopping sites have seen a significant reduction in unauthorised encampments. The Call for Sites closes on 15 November. All sites submitted will be carefully assessed against the criteria so the Public Sector Leaders Group can decide which sites to put out for consultation in December 2015. Views received as part of the December consultation will be analysed to help inform the decisions the Public Sector Leaders Group take in February 2016 about which sites to put forward to the planning process. As part of the planning process there would be further periods of public consultation. The aim is to have the sites up and running by the end of 2016. The Call for Sites booklet, a series of FAQs and details of how to respond are all available at www.suffolk.gov.uk/shortstay
All public sector leaders are committed to delivering these sites as part of our responsibility to ensure the needs of all the people who live in our community are met. Our commitment is to provide the right sites, in the right locations. Any potential site will have to meet strict suitability criteria.