'Police' claim over visit to travellers site
CAMPAIGNERS opposing a second traveller site in Llansamlet have claimed a Swansea Council officer phoned the police after they visited a family of travellers about the proposal.
Bob Clay, secretary of the Llansamlet Against a Second Travellers Site group, claimed the phone call was made by Reena Owen, director of environment, to police officers regarding a meeting between him and his partner, Councillor Uta Clay, and the Gilheaney family.
He told a 250-strong audience at a public meeting in Manor Park Country House Hotel in Clydach that the matter was not pursued by the police.
The council said it contacted the police because of concerns raised with it by the traveller families.
But Mr Clay rejected suggestions they had in any way made the family feel intimidated.
He said at the meeting: "I was amazed to learn from a very senior police officer that Reena Owen had phoned the police."
The Peniel Green Road, Llansamlet, site was one of five considered earlier this year by the council for a second travellers site. The others were the old greyhound stadium, Cockett; the rear of Parc Melyn Mynach and the proposed cemetery, both Gorseinon; and Milford Way in Penderry.
A spokesman for Swansea Council said: "The council did contact the police. This was because families at the official site had contacted our officers alleging Councillor Clay and Mr Clay had suggested to them that they might not be safe.
"They also handed our officers the draft of a letter they claim was given to them by Councillor Clay which they were asked to sign. The letter said that it would be better if a second site was not located in Llansamlet but, for example in Felindre or Fforestfach."
Mr Clay claimed the letter was actually the idea of the travellers.
The spokesman continued: "A public consultation will be launched in the near future that will provide residents with all of the information related to the process for identifying a second site and this will include an opportunity to give their views."