WARRINGTON Borough Council has today denied, categorically, that a site at Padgate is being considered as a transit camp for gypsies and travellers.
A statement issued by deputy leader of the council, Cllr Mike Hannon, and the chairman of the travellers’ task group, Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, states: “We wish to make it clear that the council has not made any decision on the development of a specific travellers’ transit site.
“There are no plans or decisions on any specific site and this includes the site referred to in the media (land near Bennett Recreation Ground) as this site is unacceptable due to its proximity to residential properties.
“Any future decision regarding a transit site will be conducted on an open and transparent basis.”
The statement was issued as rebel councillor Kevin Bennett – the former Labour councillor who now represents TUSC (The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) revealed further information which he claimed was evidence of a “war” between back bench Labour councillors and the council’s executive board.
Cllr Bennett revealed the content of emails sent by Cllr Colin Froggatt which criticised executive board members Cllr Hitesh Patel and Cllr Maureen McLaughlin for poor communication.
He said: “The secret plan to put a gypsy traveller ‘transit site’ in Padgate has re-ignited the ‘infighting’ in the Labour Group.
“Cllr Colin Froggatt has revealed that he and Cllr Maureen Creaghan have been kept ‘in the dark’ over these plans.
“There is obviously a growing culture in the Labour Group where the executive board operates like a ‘secret society’ and keeps information from their own Members.”