Does your village welcome gypsies?
Parish councils eager to impress in this year's Village of
the Year competition have raised concerns about a new question
on whether they welcome gypsies, travellers and other ethnic
Helmdon, Radway and Adderbury are among the villages which
have enjoyed success in previous competitions.
Adderbury parish councillor Keith Mitchell, who is also leader
of Oxfordshire County Council, said:
"The attitude towards travellers or ethnic minorities
isn't the biggest issue in a village. How we look after the
elderly or children are bigger issues. I think the competition
is about pride of place. It's about people caring for the
community and efforts made to make villages cohesive and pleasurable
places to live."
Helmdon Parish Council clerk Sarah Smith said: "We will
continue to take part in the competition as long as we feel
comfortable with it.
"Personally I don't think the question about travellers
has anything to do with the competition unless they explain
Andrew Ford of the competition's sponsor, Calor, said. The
question was a misprint.
"If councils are concerned they need to positively welcome
travellers to be considered for an award that's not true.
We have said we will disregard any answer to the question,"
The deadline for the Village of the Year competition is June
27. The closing date for the Best Kept Village contest is
The Banbury Guardian - 31st March 2005