By Bill Heaney
Upgrading the traveller site at Dennystown Forge in Dumbarton was one of the top of the list of urgent projects to be tackled in the SNP administration’s budget for the next financial year in West Dunbartonshire.
The intention was to divert travellers away from other sites including Havoc on the Clydeshore, Denny’s dockyard near the Dumbarton FC stadium and even Levengrove Park, w
However, responding to Open Democracy’s investigation into racism against Scotland’s Travellers which quotes Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross as saying “I am disappointed and frustrated that we seem to have to bend over backwards for this ethnic minority”.
He noted that a council committee chaired by Mr Ross ruled that Traveller sites would not be allowed within a kilometre of existing settlements, a policy described by Traveller community elder Lynne Tammi as “apartheid”.
Convener of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, former MEP and candidate for Moray, Sheila Ritchie said: “From the moment he announced that his first priority as Prime Minister would be ‘tougher enforcement against Gypsy Travellers’ it’s been clear that Douglas Ross is completely incapable of representing the overwhelming majority of Scots.
“I never thought I would hear the words Scotland and apartheid together. His proposals are an affront to people across the Highlands and Islands and Scotland as a whole.
“As the Scottish Conservatives retreat to a dark and dismal place, Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to stand up for human rights at home and abroad.”
West Dunbartonshire Council refuse to comment about their plans for upgrading the traveller sites in this region.
This was the mess left behind by travellers after they left Levengrove Park in Dumbarton.