Concerns over horse fair

RE: Whether travellers and gypsies should have a right to visit Scarborough for the annual Seamer Horse Fair (Evening News July 18).

First, let us get things straight! It is Seamer Fair! Nothing to do with gypsies or their horses etc and if you are to read the proclamation, it ends with “And we do in the Queen Majesty’s name straitly charge and command all manner of persons whatsoever coming and resorting to this fair, that they keep the peace during this fair and in the end so to depart. God Save the Queen and the Lord of the Manor.”

It does not say that the residents of the Parish of Seamer have to pay taxes to provide an accommodation site with all facilities for travellers at minimal cost to themselves.

And when you interview people as to their opinion on whether or not we should welcome them with open arms each year, perhaps it would be more appropriate if you asked the residents who will be affected by the annual invasion rather than people from Doncaster, Hull and from Scarborough who live in areas which are not in any way affected.

It’s about as good as Scarborough Borough Council whose Scrutiny Committee recommending where the travellers site should be located comprised chiefly of councillors from Whitby (who would not be affected) and Eastfield (who had frequently declared that they did not want it anywhere near Eastfield at the Seamer Fair meetings).

No Seamer Parish councillors were allowed to attend the scrutiny meetings to put their residents point of view on this subject and the present site is on land owned by the borough, not Seamer Parish, so that they have the final decision. If we are to be stuck with this annual invasion, as seems rather obvious after spending £95,000 of our money on the site and the Centurion Way ‘defences’, I recommend that a selection of less accommodating venues to be selected so that those persons who have chosen to blight Seamer also have a share of the mayhem they cause for others as none of the borough councillors or their minions live near enough to be affected.

Superintendent Dave Foster tells us that the fair went as well as could be expected.

He doesn’t mention anything about shops being invaded by large groups of gypsy youths, male and female, causing havoc and stealing things so that a village shop had to close, a local hotel had problems, as had two fish and chip shops.

Plus damage to property in the old folks retirement area of Bells Close and one of them urinating on the grass in full view of residents so presumably those sort of incidents do not come within the scope of the Proclamation’s “keeping the peace.”

Originally the borough council identified 27 possible locations throughout the borough for a travellers site but very quickly all but three were rejected and those three you will be surprised to learn were; two adjacent to Stoney Haggs Road and one in Irton behind the Waterworks, which was obviously a non-starter.

The travellers did have a suitable site for several years next to the Seamer Tip but our borough council, in it’s wisdom, sold that land for development, most of which has not yet taken place nor is likely to in the foreseeable future.

Charles Agar

Former Seamer Parish Councillor

The Grove