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Mold travellers share site frustration

Published date: 24 July 2014 |
Published by: Romilly Scragg 
Read more articles by Romilly Scragg  Email reporter


 

TRAVELLERS say Flintshire councillors have broken a promise to provide a site for them eight years ago.

Josh Fidler, living in one of 16 trailers parked at Maes Gwern on Broncoed Industrial Estate in Mold, said his dream was for children in his family to go to school but with no permanent site for them in the area, it was impossible.

In 2006, Flintshire Council told Mr Fidler and the families he travels with they would build a site for them but eight years on, the site has not materialised.

Mr Fidler, 46, said his five children who are now all grown up had never been to school and the same fate awaited his son’s child who would soon be born.

“We’d love the children to go to school,” he said. “That would be my dream.”

Mr Fidler said he had tried lots of times to start his children at school but because they are moved on every four or five weeks, and without the site they were promised, it had proved impossible.

“We’ve tried lots of times,” he said. “They’ve sent teachers out a couple of times but when we have to move, the teachers don’t know where we are.”

Originally from a traveller family in Yorkshire, Mr Fidler has lived in North Wales for 18 years.

He said most of the five families living with him had been in North Wales for many generations but were treated like outsiders.

“All of our children have been brought up here,” he said. “But it’s like we’re outcasts.”
Mr Fidler did not want to be photographed as if he was, he feared he would never get another job.

“People don’t know we’re travellers,” he said.

He said he decided to speak to the Leader after Flintshire councillors accused them of acting illegally.

He said they were the first ones to be checked for paying taxes and would be paying council tax too if they had a permanent site like at every other traveller site in Wales.

“The councillors say we don’t pay our taxes so why should they help us,” he added. “We’ve been here for thousands of years. We were here before the council houses. They promised to build us a site and now they’re trying to say we’re doing illegal things.”

A Flintshire Council spokesman told the Leader: “The council is aware a group of travellers are on a site near Maes Gwern in Mold, on land owned by the county council.

“In accordance with its usual protocols concerning travellers, the council needs to carry out an assessment before deciding what further action to take.”

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