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Community rallies to improve traveller site

Residents from a Fenland traveller community are helping to revamp their neighbourhood following a successful engagement event.

Traveller morning Wisbech

People living on the Newbridge Lane Travellers Site in Wisbech have signed up to a new paint scheme in order to decorate their own accommodation blocks, and are helping to transform a newly-cleared green area with upcycled flower planters.

An engagement event held at the site last week was the first in a series of new community mornings organised by Fenland District Council which aim to enhance traveller sites across the district and reduce on-site fly-tipping issues.

During the morning, the council's Community Support Officer Sophie Wilkinson invited residents to paint old tyres and turn them into planters for the green.

Residents were also able to collect paint and roller sets after joining a new scheme run by the council in partnership with CCORRN (Cambridgeshire Community Reuse and Recycling Network) Community RePaint.

The scheme has been introduced alongside the council's ongoing general block maintenance, for any residents wanting to 'spruce' up their blocks at little cost.

Miss Wilkinson said: "About a month ago we cleared up the green at the Newbridge Lane site. There used to be fires on there and rubbish dumped, but residents supported us and helped to clean it up. We now want to develop the green into a space that people can feel proud of, and get the community involved in making that happen. The engagement morning was a great success with all ages getting involved."

The council hopes all five traveller sites in Fenland will have the opportunity to host a community morning in the near future. It is also hoped they will be able to offer residents additional support from organisations and services including Citizens Advice, Fire and Rescue, community support, community safety and waste education.

Councillor Simon King, the Council's Portfolio Holder for Community Partnerships, said: "Fly-tipping has been a problem throughout the council's traveller sites for some time and we want things to change. Over the past few months our community support team has been trying to clear up the sites in order to make them nicer places to live for the community, and it's great to see the residents of Newbridge Lane have supported us with this and helped to keep their green area clean.

"We hope these community mornings will encourage residents to want to make a difference to where they live, and also provide them with additional advice and support available to them."

The next community morning is due to be held at the traveller site in Fenland Way, Chatteris, on July 11.

Article added: June 27, 2017