£2 million upgrade to local Travellers’ sites after low satisfaction rates

Thornton Wood travellers site.
Thornton Wood travellers site.

A sharp drop in the percentage of Gypsy Travellers satisfied with Fife Council-run sites has sparked a £2 million investment programme.

All of the amenity units at the sites which have the local authority as landlord – Tarvit Mill in Cupar, Heatherywood near Kirkcaldy and Thornton Wood near Kelty – are to be fully upgraded to a higher standard.

About £800,000 is being spent per site and the work has been pencilled in by the council’s building services after a face-to-face survey of Gypsy Travellers suggested most of the families living there are not happy with their current situation.

Thornton Wood travellers site.

Of those surveyed, 29% were satisfied with the landlord’s management of their site, down from 70% two years ago and markedly below the Scottish average of more than 78%.

Judy Hamilton, convener of the community and housing services committee, said the improvement work – which has started at the sites – had been programmed in response to the concerns of Travellers using them.

The council manages 20 pitches at Tarvit Mill, 18 at Heatherywood and 12 at Thornton Wood.

Each pitch has hardstanding for parking a caravan and another vehicle, an amenity block with toilet, shower and bath, a kitchen area, hot and cold water, and storage.