In a keynote speech that was addressed to the Traveller Strategy Scrutiny Panel at Hove Town Hall today, Mike made three key observations on the issue. First, that there is little in the way of racism in the people of Brighton & Hove. Secondly, that the people of Brighton & Hove are no less sympathetic towards the illegal actions of Travellers than they are towards the illegal actions of any other group. And thirdly, sadly, nobody has done more to damage the Traveller cause than Travellers themselves. It doesnt have to be like this.
Mike then went on to give his views on how best to tackle the problem of illegal encampments. He suggested that a zero tolerance approach should be immediately implemented to deal with illegal encampments in public parks, and also that Traveller groups should be given advice on how to buy sites, rather than such sites being provided by the taxpayer.
In his submission, Mike said: The people of Brighton & Hove are not racist. By not treating everybody equally, and by members of the Green Administration making inflammatory comments, the Council is stirring things up.
Commenting, Mike said: I was speaking at the scrutiny panel today as I was extremely concerned that there was a worrying lack of voice on the side of residents. I wanted to highlight that Brighton & Hove City Council should be treating local residents with much more respect. If the objective is to improve relations between our various communities, calling residents racist when they protest against mess in our parks is not the way to do it.