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Gypsy site secures goverment bursary

PUBLISHED: 13:55 10 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:38 25 August 2010

TRAVELLERS are delighted they have finally received a grant to improve facilities on two sites after being neglected for years.

TRAVELLERS are delighted they have finally received a grant to improve facilities on two sites after being "neglected" for years.

Bromley council bid for government money and received £468,451 for Star Lane caravan site, St Mary Cray, and £369,869 for Old Maidstone Road, Sidcup.

The Star Lane site was without electricity for three years because of an arson attack and only had it restored in October last year.

Work is expected to begin in June and will include repair and extension of the two sites with refurbishment of amenity facilities, repairs to broken fences, site clearance and traffic calming.

Artist and traveller based at the Star Lane site, Lucy Smith, 44, said: "We're obviously absolutely delighted and thrilled that we have finally got some money and some funds have been awarded our way.

"It was terrible when we were without electricity for so long. It was really depressing, we've definitely been overlooked and I'm glad the site is being rescued."

Mother-of-four, Mrs Smith, believes work has been slow because contractors are afraid to enter traveller sites.

She said: "They seem frightened to come in but it's just their imagination running away with them that they might have things stolen and so on.

"People don't understand travellers, it's a taboo. They tar everyone with the same brush thinking we're lary and want something for nothing.

"But this is a lovely situated site and there is huge potential here. There are very few problems. It's quite safe and I let my children play around here.

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