AM’s concern over Pontypool Gipsy site

South Wales Argus: CONCERN: Mohammad Asghar AM CONCERN: Mohammad Asghar AM

THE Shadow Minister for Sports and Equalities expressed concern over Torfaen Council ’s proposal to expand a Gipsy Traveller site in Pontypool by using a football pitch.

Mohammad Asghar AM is concerned about proposals to extend the current Shepherd’s Hill site in Cwmynyscoy by using a football pitch at the Race to accommodate more caravans.

The proposals for a £3.6 million expansion of the Gipsy and Travellers site will be discussed at an extraordinary meeting of Torfaen council on September 13 at 4pm in Pontypool Active Living Centre, which will consider the council’s Local Development Plan.

Race Junior Football Club have been battling for a designated safe football pitch since 1997 when their local pitch was closed due to subsidence.

Mohammad Asghar AM said: "The football club has been requesting a new pitch for the past 15 years after Torfaen Council closed the previous one for health and safety reasons. The Council is aware that this club has been in need of facilities for a long time and has failed to acknowledge requests for a new pitch. This is not acceptable.

"As Shadow Minister for Equalities, I acknowledge the need and the right for every human being to have access to shelter and accommodation. The Gipsy and travelling community are no exception and have been provided with the Shepherd's Hill site since 1974.

"However, the non-travelling members of the community also have the right to see enhancements to their facilities. The football club should also be a priority.

"There have also been allegations that members of the Gipsy traveller community have been involved in anti-social behaviour and criminal activities. Apparently some members of the Torfaen community have not felt comfortable approaching the police about these issues. They must be encouraged to come forward and make their voices heard or else they will be marginalised in council decisions.

"The council needs to represent and treat both communities fairly."

A spokesman for Torfaen Council said: "We are in active discussions with the club and have identified a potential site as part of our Gipsy traveller proposals.

"The proposals are not totally dependent on each other, however there are potential funding opportunities to finance the new football field which we would look to explore."

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:52pm Sat 18 Aug 12

Cwmderi says...

Typical of this AM. He states that "The council needs to represent and treat both communities fairly". He then presents a one sided argument against the Gypsy Travellers by quoting them as being involved in anti social behaviour and criminal activities.
Has he forgotten that he is the Deputy Minister for 'Equalities' as well as sport. This just shows that Mr Asghar has a closed mind on this matter and is clearly placing sport above equalities in order to appeal to the wider community.
I wonder which way the wind will be blowing the next time that this so called Deputy Minister for Equalities gets out of bed.
Typical of this AM. He states that "The council needs to represent and treat both communities fairly". He then presents a one sided argument against the Gypsy Travellers by quoting them as being involved in anti social behaviour and criminal activities. Has he forgotten that he is the Deputy Minister for 'Equalities' as well as sport. This just shows that Mr Asghar has a closed mind on this matter and is clearly placing sport above equalities in order to appeal to the wider community. I wonder which way the wind will be blowing the next time that this so called Deputy Minister for Equalities gets out of bed. Cwmderi

1:16pm Sat 18 Aug 12

Dai Rear says...

Can he not have a day as "sports" which is quintessentially about inequality and then a day as "equality" but not equality of outcome. i.e. we taxpayers foot the bill for you "travellers'" children to go to school and if you get on and pass your exams and get a good job, then great. If you don't, tough. You're on your own and there's no way we're throwing £3,600,000 at you because you didn't take the chance of an education that we gave you.
Can he not have a day as "sports" which is quintessentially about inequality and then a day as "equality" but not equality of outcome. i.e. we taxpayers foot the bill for you "travellers'" children to go to school and if you get on and pass your exams and get a good job, then great. If you don't, tough. You're on your own and there's no way we're throwing £3,600,000 at you because you didn't take the chance of an education that we gave you. Dai Rear

3:50pm Sat 18 Aug 12

Cymru Am Beth says...

They are not Gypsies they are Irish Travellers.
The Irish don't want them so they come over here and are offered everything.
They pay no taxes and don't contribute to anything except increasing the rubbish pille.
They are not Gypsies they are Irish Travellers. The Irish don't want them so they come over here and are offered everything. They pay no taxes and don't contribute to anything except increasing the rubbish pille. Cymru Am Beth

5:22pm Sat 18 Aug 12

rossivale says...

Thank you Mohammad Asghar, finally a voice of reason!
Thank you Mohammad Asghar, finally a voice of reason! rossivale

9:05pm Sat 18 Aug 12

emlynkide says...

let them come, then we can put there caravans on our pickups and sell them for scrap
let them come, then we can put there caravans on our pickups and sell them for scrap emlynkide

12:11pm Sun 19 Aug 12

Cwmderi says...

It was Pastor Niemoller, who was imprisoned during the Nazi rise to power and their purging of their chosen targets who wrote;
First they cam for the communists and I did not speak because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unions and I did not speak.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak.
Then they came for the handicapped and mentally infirmed and I did not speak.
Then they came for the GYPSIES and I did not speak because I was not a Gypsy.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak.
Pastor Martin Niemoller 1892-1984
It was Pastor Niemoller, who was imprisoned during the Nazi rise to power and their purging of their chosen targets who wrote; First they cam for the communists and I did not speak because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unions and I did not speak. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak. Then they came for the handicapped and mentally infirmed and I did not speak. Then they came for the GYPSIES and I did not speak because I was not a Gypsy. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak. Pastor Martin Niemoller 1892-1984 Cwmderi

12:28pm Sun 19 Aug 12

Dai Rear says...

Cwmderi wrote:
It was Pastor Niemoller, who was imprisoned during the Nazi rise to power and their purging of their chosen targets who wrote;
First they cam for the communists and I did not speak because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unions and I did not speak.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak.
Then they came for the handicapped and mentally infirmed and I did not speak.
Then they came for the GYPSIES and I did not speak because I was not a Gypsy.
Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak.
Pastor Martin Niemoller 1892-1984
The GYPSIES are the people who came out of Asia about 1000 years ago-no connection with the Irish people and , frankly, very low profile in the UK save, sadly, for those from Roumania, but as the EU collapses we should not need to receive those much longer.
[quote][p][bold]Cwmderi[/bold] wrote: It was Pastor Niemoller, who was imprisoned during the Nazi rise to power and their purging of their chosen targets who wrote; First they cam for the communists and I did not speak because I was not a communist. Then they came for the trade unions and I did not speak. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak. Then they came for the handicapped and mentally infirmed and I did not speak. Then they came for the GYPSIES and I did not speak because I was not a Gypsy. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak. Pastor Martin Niemoller 1892-1984[/p][/quote]The GYPSIES are the people who came out of Asia about 1000 years ago-no connection with the Irish people and , frankly, very low profile in the UK save, sadly, for those from Roumania, but as the EU collapses we should not need to receive those much longer. Dai Rear

3:52pm Tue 28 Aug 12

shepherdshilltenant says...

once again we have another prejudice report, and this time from an AM for equalities of all things, seems to me like your only an equal provided your not from a gypsy community or background.does no-one ever listen? once again i will make my point very clear, the site expansion is NOT to provide more pitches for more travellers, but simply to provide the space for the people who are already living at shepherds hill, who are overcrowded and are living in breech of health and safety laws!! this i might add is due to poor planning and is the sole responsibility of torfaen borough council.will someone also please tell this AM that as well as providing suitable living accommodation for the travelling community the council is also planning to provide a new football pitch for the community, it's not a case of either or, so why is the AM for sports and equalities happy about the sports side of things but not the equalities? has anyone pointed out to this minister that coming from an ethnic minority background himself he should have more compassion for the travelling community? can i also make it quite clear that yes irish travellers and romany gypsies are two different cultures,and both live within the settled shepherds hill community, but it is racist for anyone to say of any culture they are not wanted by their own nation. if you think i'm wrong take some of the earlier comments or headlines and change the word gypsy to black or hindi or jew or any other ethnic minority you can think of and watch the s**t hit the fan. the law is very clear on racism of any kind but it doesn't seem to apply to the travelling community!! people also believe that no-one from within the travelling community work or pay taxes, this is untrue, and as for education, i can tell you all seven of my children have been educated and have gone on to colege or university, and i'm not uneducated myself. my point is if you haven't got the correct facts don't bother to speak. as for everyone else who is not part of cwmnag please give your support to the site expansion plan, after all the travellers of shepherds hill do not want to move but if cwmnag has it's was and another area has to be found for a new site it could end up on your doorstep!! for anyone who reads this and would like to support the gypsy community i am asking for your signatures, please contact me via e-mail at amandajg1973@hotmail
.com.
once again we have another prejudice report, and this time from an AM for equalities of all things, seems to me like your only an equal provided your not from a gypsy community or background.does no-one ever listen? once again i will make my point very clear, the site expansion is NOT to provide more pitches for more travellers, but simply to provide the space for the people who are already living at shepherds hill, who are overcrowded and are living in breech of health and safety laws!! this i might add is due to poor planning and is the sole responsibility of torfaen borough council.will someone also please tell this AM that as well as providing suitable living accommodation for the travelling community the council is also planning to provide a new football pitch for the community, it's not a case of either or, so why is the AM for sports and equalities happy about the sports side of things but not the equalities? has anyone pointed out to this minister that coming from an ethnic minority background himself he should have more compassion for the travelling community? can i also make it quite clear that yes irish travellers and romany gypsies are two different cultures,and both live within the settled shepherds hill community, but it is racist for anyone to say of any culture they are not wanted by their own nation. if you think i'm wrong take some of the earlier comments or headlines and change the word gypsy to black or hindi or jew or any other ethnic minority you can think of and watch the s**t hit the fan. the law is very clear on racism of any kind but it doesn't seem to apply to the travelling community!! people also believe that no-one from within the travelling community work or pay taxes, this is untrue, and as for education, i can tell you all seven of my children have been educated and have gone on to colege or university, and i'm not uneducated myself. my point is if you haven't got the correct facts don't bother to speak. as for everyone else who is not part of cwmnag please give your support to the site expansion plan, after all the travellers of shepherds hill do not want to move but if cwmnag has it's was and another area has to be found for a new site it could end up on your doorstep!! for anyone who reads this and would like to support the gypsy community i am asking for your signatures, please contact me via e-mail at amandajg1973@hotmail .com. shepherdshilltenant

3:52pm Tue 28 Aug 12

shepherdshilltenant says...

once again we have another prejudice report, and this time from an AM for equalities of all things, seems to me like your only an equal provided your not from a gypsy community or background.does no-one ever listen? once again i will make my point very clear, the site expansion is NOT to provide more pitches for more travellers, but simply to provide the space for the people who are already living at shepherds hill, who are overcrowded and are living in breech of health and safety laws!! this i might add is due to poor planning and is the sole responsibility of torfaen borough council.will someone also please tell this AM that as well as providing suitable living accommodation for the travelling community the council is also planning to provide a new football pitch for the community, it's not a case of either or, so why is the AM for sports and equalities happy about the sports side of things but not the equalities? has anyone pointed out to this minister that coming from an ethnic minority background himself he should have more compassion for the travelling community? can i also make it quite clear that yes irish travellers and romany gypsies are two different cultures,and both live within the settled shepherds hill community, but it is racist for anyone to say of any culture they are not wanted by their own nation. if you think i'm wrong take some of the earlier comments or headlines and change the word gypsy to black or hindi or jew or any other ethnic minority you can think of and watch the s**t hit the fan. the law is very clear on racism of any kind but it doesn't seem to apply to the travelling community!! people also believe that no-one from within the travelling community work or pay taxes, this is untrue, and as for education, i can tell you all seven of my children have been educated and have gone on to colege or university, and i'm not uneducated myself. my point is if you haven't got the correct facts don't bother to speak. as for everyone else who is not part of cwmnag please give your support to the site expansion plan, after all the travellers of shepherds hill do not want to move but if cwmnag has it's was and another area has to be found for a new site it could end up on your doorstep!! for anyone who reads this and would like to support the gypsy community i am asking for your signatures, please contact me via e-mail at amandajg1973@hotmail
.com.
once again we have another prejudice report, and this time from an AM for equalities of all things, seems to me like your only an equal provided your not from a gypsy community or background.does no-one ever listen? once again i will make my point very clear, the site expansion is NOT to provide more pitches for more travellers, but simply to provide the space for the people who are already living at shepherds hill, who are overcrowded and are living in breech of health and safety laws!! this i might add is due to poor planning and is the sole responsibility of torfaen borough council.will someone also please tell this AM that as well as providing suitable living accommodation for the travelling community the council is also planning to provide a new football pitch for the community, it's not a case of either or, so why is the AM for sports and equalities happy about the sports side of things but not the equalities? has anyone pointed out to this minister that coming from an ethnic minority background himself he should have more compassion for the travelling community? can i also make it quite clear that yes irish travellers and romany gypsies are two different cultures,and both live within the settled shepherds hill community, but it is racist for anyone to say of any culture they are not wanted by their own nation. if you think i'm wrong take some of the earlier comments or headlines and change the word gypsy to black or hindi or jew or any other ethnic minority you can think of and watch the s**t hit the fan. the law is very clear on racism of any kind but it doesn't seem to apply to the travelling community!! people also believe that no-one from within the travelling community work or pay taxes, this is untrue, and as for education, i can tell you all seven of my children have been educated and have gone on to colege or university, and i'm not uneducated myself. my point is if you haven't got the correct facts don't bother to speak. as for everyone else who is not part of cwmnag please give your support to the site expansion plan, after all the travellers of shepherds hill do not want to move but if cwmnag has it's was and another area has to be found for a new site it could end up on your doorstep!! for anyone who reads this and would like to support the gypsy community i am asking for your signatures, please contact me via e-mail at amandajg1973@hotmail .com. shepherdshilltenant

3:57pm Tue 28 Aug 12

shepherdshilltenant says...

oops just one more small point, can the reporter katy pigden, as an educated non-traveller please spell the word gypsy correctly from this point on, many thanks
oops just one more small point, can the reporter katy pigden, as an educated non-traveller please spell the word gypsy correctly from this point on, many thanks shepherdshilltenant

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree