Gail Ross MSP (pictured), Member of the Scottish Parliament for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross has today, Monday 8th June 2020, written to both the Highland Council and Police Scotland to raise her concerns over the facilities being put in place to support the traveling community during covid-19.
Ms Ross, a former member of the Equalities and Human Rights Committee of the Scottish Parliament has also raised her concerns that despite assurances to the contrary from Highland Council in the past, little has been done to support the community north of the Kessock Bridge and the current pandemic has intensified problems in some locations.
Speaking today Gail said:
“It is of great concern that little in the way of progress has been made to support the gypsy traveller community in recent years in the north, despite assurances from Highland Council that they would provide facilities and support camps where possible.
“It was recognised in the past that human rights can and should go hand in hand with environmental protections and I’m concerned that it would appear that no provision has been put in place to support travelling communities at a time when environmental hygiene is so important.”
“I can appreciate that many have come to me to express their concerns that summer camps are beginning to form again in the constituency, as in the past there have been real concerns over waste and environmental protection at the sites.
“Communities and elected representatives alike have been assured that better provision was coming, that would be of benefit to both settled as well as traveling communities.”
“I would urge all parties to remain calm, considerate and kind to one another.
“I have asked that both Highland Council and Police Scotland update me on their plans and the existing support that is in place for both communities, but at this time I feel that the emphasis must be on support and mutual respect.”