Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Memorandum by The Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, Scottish Section (TF 14)

1.   The continued value of historic travelling fairs

  The value of historic travelling fairs is of vital importance for the continued livelihood and existence of Showmen. Especially when there seems to be no new fairs being opened up.

2.   The provision of sites for travelling fairs

  When the Local Authorities have plans for redevelopment of any land which normally has a fair on site, once or even twice a year, no consideration is given to the travelling Showmen and a possible alternative site. Our counterparts in Europe seem to be viewed as part of their local community, and have sites within easy access to that community, of hard standing and services such as electricity and water.

3.   The particular needs of travelling Showpeople in carrying out their trade

  Showmen should be secure in the knowledge that there are sites available for them to earn a living and that once their travelling season is over, which seems to get shorter and shorter each year, they have a place to park to allow them to maintain and carry out any necessary repairs in readiness for the next season.

4.   The effectiveness of existing planning guidance on the provision of quarters for travelling Showpeople.

  At the moment within the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas, there seems to be provision for winter quarters but the Authorities are reluctant to give permanent planning permission for those sites and any all year round sites.

5.   Whether any action is necessary to ensure that appropriate regard is had to the needs of travelling Showpeople within the planning system

  The governing body for Local Authorities should make them aware that Showmen are a part of the community as the same Showmen travel and live within the same areas each year. The Showmen are prepared to pay like everyone else for the services provided. At present if a Showmen was to purchase a piece of land it is highly unlikely he would obtain the necessary planning permission.

February 2000

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