A Travellers are the target of a campaign launched by the Cambridge Evening News. The newspaper is responding to concerns raised by residents in the village of Cottenham, where 70 traveller families have established a community on greenbelt land without planning permission.
The CEN says the villagers have complained about increased crime and are angry about the unsolved murder of a father of two who died after a confrontation with travellers.
The paper has written an open letter to Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott demanding more power for police to enforce planning laws and greater resources for councils to provide official sites for travellers.
Editor Murray Morse said: “For too long the Government has simply ignored an issue of national significance that is causing problems for thousands of people. Hundreds of thousands of pounds in taxpayers’ money is being spent on futile court battles.
“John Prescott has offered no help, no guidance and no leadership.
“He’s told the residents of Cottenham he is too busy to listen to them – but the News will press home our readers’ concerns until the Government is forced to listen and to act.”
By Dominic Ponsford