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'Police' claim over visit to travellers site

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 22, 2012

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CAMPAIGNERS opposing a second traveller site in Llansamlet have claimed a Swansea Council officer phoned the police after they visited a family of travellers about the proposal.

Bob Clay, secretary of the Llansamlet Against a Second Travellers Site group, claimed the phone call was made by Reena Owen, director of environment, to police officers regarding a meeting between him and his partner, Councillor Uta Clay, and the Gilheaney family.

He told a 250-strong audience at a public meeting in Manor Park Country House Hotel in Clydach that the matter was not pursued by the police.

The council said it contacted the police because of concerns raised with it by the traveller families.

But Mr Clay rejected suggestions they had in any way made the family feel intimidated.

He said at the meeting: "I was amazed to learn from a very senior police officer that Reena Owen had phoned the police."

The Peniel Green Road, Llansamlet, site was one of five considered earlier this year by the council for a second travellers site. The others were the old greyhound stadium, Cockett; the rear of Parc Melyn Mynach and the proposed cemetery, both Gorseinon; and Milford Way in Penderry.

A spokesman for Swansea Council said: "The council did contact the police. This was because families at the official site had contacted our officers alleging Councillor Clay and Mr Clay had suggested to them that they might not be safe.

"They also handed our officers the draft of a letter they claim was given to them by Councillor Clay which they were asked to sign. The letter said that it would be better if a second site was not located in Llansamlet but, for example in Felindre or Fforestfach."

Mr Clay claimed the letter was actually the idea of the travellers.

The spokesman continued: "A public consultation will be launched in the near future that will provide residents with all of the information related to the process for identifying a second site and this will include an opportunity to give their views."

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  • moogman  |  November 27 2012, 9:55AM

    Kasparov is simply stating the facts. Clearly an alien concept to Kaiser_Macsen (BH)

  • Kaiser_Macsen  |  November 22 2012, 8:38PM

    kasparov44 I hope that you are not making a serious allegation about the Director of Environment.

  • kasparov44  |  November 22 2012, 8:11PM

    Kaiser_Macsen - since when do council officers have no influence over the decision-making process.? Who do you think writes the reports?

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  • Locust  |  November 22 2012, 7:04PM

    by locust "there's a load of land on the outskirts of Swansea ,clean water ,will not cost the ratepayers of Swansea a penny, the traveller fraternity will know the language and customs and we will save millions. This land of is where ...................IRELAND.

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  • Kaiser_Macsen  |  November 22 2012, 6:34PM

    The Police and Swansea Council record all phone calls. I'm surprised that a former Member of Parliament has named a Council official who has no personal say in the decision making process.

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  • hoppsnskips  |  November 22 2012, 6:03PM

    What an incredibly heavy handed way for a local authority to conduct itself. Swansea Council obviously thought that local people would roll over on this matter but they have seriously underestimated the calibre of Llansamlet and Birchgrove residents. It seems to me that the intimidation is coming entirely from County Hall.

  • BobDavies2  |  November 22 2012, 5:12PM

    A spokesman for Swansea Council said: "The council did contact the police. This was because families at the official site had contacted our officers alleging Councillor Clay and Mr Clay had suggested to them that they might not be safe. I cant think of how Mr Clay & Mrs Clay would have intimidated the families, they should be commended on even going there to discuss this issue, there was probably more of spurious theme to Reena Owens call to the police, in as much "throwing a spanner in the works" of anyone that confronts them with the facts. A council that operates under a cloud of secrecy! There is an overwhelming tidal wave in Llansamlet & the surrounding area opposing this site.

  • lancelot69  |  November 22 2012, 5:02PM

    I still dont see why we have to provide land and spend tax payers money on facilities on these people when they contribute no money to our society, cause nothing but grief to us and are not treated the same way as us. They should be jailed for what they do and are not. The police are afraid to confront them and no one has the balls to tell them to get lost, go back to Ireland because WE DON'T WANT YOU HERE!

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