Commenting upon the closure of a travellers’ site in Brighton & Hove that was due to be developed, but had to be closed earlier than expected because slow worms and lizards could only be moved in Spring, Joseph Jones, from the Gypsy Council secretariat, said there was a lack of sites across the South East, with more than a thousand pitches needed. “The idea of slow worms taking priority over people – it is amazing really to think animals take priority over people. But gypsies and travellers are the lowest on anyone’s welfare agenda. They have the lowest health and education outcomes and have the most problems in achieving standards of human rights.” He said the travellers should have been offered an alternative site before they were evicted. My sympathies, however, lie with the reptiles. They have no choice concerning their habitat, but travellers do. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-13486040
Moreover, in the face of what must be enormous costs, local authorities continue to provide more living space for travellers while the rest of us face hefty cutbacks resulting in the dilution of provision of services from central and local government. I notice that Mr. Jones made no reference to this detail. Unfortunately, those who get something for nothing rarely count the cost to those who provide it.