Sligo traveller representatives resign from committee claiming lack of consultation on local halting site

It’s being claimed by local traveller representatives that if Sligo County Council go ahead with their plans for a local halting site, then no travellers will want to live there.

The local authority plans to build five new social housing units at the Glenview Halting Site, while they also plan to build six new bays for caravans.

The five new houses will accommodate a family who have lived there for years, while the six bays will be for another family who currently live at Connaughton Road.

The Traveller representatives on the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee (LTACC) took the decision to resign over the issue claiming there was not adequate consultation on the matter.

Spokesperson for the Traveller Community, Bernadette Maughan says they have told Sligo County Council that these two families cannot live on the one site, but this has been ignored…..

Full statement from the Sligo Traveller Group:

This afternoon May 17th the Traveller representatives on the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee (LTACC) took the decision to resign after a complete lack of consultation with regards to the current plans for the Glenview halting site in Sligo town. The LTACC members include County Councillors, local authority staff and representatives from the Traveller community. Its role is to “advise in relation to the preparation and implementation of the Sligo Traveller Accommodation Programme” and “advise on the provision and management of accommodation for Travellers”. (Standing Order 1). The complete undermining of the role of the LTACC, where plans for Glenview halting site were developed by the local authority without any consultation or opportunity to input at the LTACC means that Traveller representatives can not in good faith carry on as members of a body where we did not have the opportunity to have our voices heard.

In light of this at the meeting this afternoon (May 17th) a motion was brought forward by Traveller representatives to the LTACC outlining the lack of due process and consultation. The motion was put to a vote with all 4 Traveller representatives voting in favour, the four local authority reps voting against with the deciding vote cast by Chairperson Martin Baker who was the only one of four eligible county councillors to attend. He voted against the motion. We believe that the decision by the County Council staff members and Cllr Bakers decision to oppose our motion highlighting the complete lack of consultation is by default supporting what has occurred. Bernadette Maughan, manager of Sligo Traveller Support Group, said “We do not take this decision to resign lightly as the issue of improved and appropriate Traveller accommodation is something which we have always worked for and will continue to do so. This is not opposition to some very badly needed Traveller accommodation, this is opposition to a disregard of the function of the local traveller accommodation committee and a disregard for the voices of the Traveller representatives on it who along with other members of the Traveller community have serious issues with how these proposed plans have developed”


In response the Council have issued a statement to Ocean FM News saying they are disappointed by the move. Full statement from Sligo County Council:


Mr. Bartley Gavin, A/Director of Services for Housing, has expressed his disappointment at the decision of the Traveller representatives to resign from the Local Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee (LTAAC).

He said the Council is anxious to meet the housing needs of the Traveller community and the current proposals, which are presently the subject of a public consultative process, will significantly add to the quality and range of Traveller accommodation available within Sligo. He understands that the proposals meet with the planning requirements and expects a full planning report to go before the Council for decision in June.

Cllr. Martin Baker, Chairman of the LTACC said that he believes the Committee plays a very important role in addressing the challenging and diverse Traveller accommodation needs and he would encourage the representatives to re-consider their decision to enable the Committee to progress its’ programme of work.

Corporate Services
Sligo County Council