BOROUGH council chiefs will know by Christmas if their £110,000 bid for a new Travellers’ camp in Ellesmere Port has been successful.
The council is applying to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for financial backing for the temporary encampment, at a location to be decided.
It is due to hear back around November.
The news was welcomed by Stuart Penketh, the borough’s Tory parliamentary candidate, who is descended from Romany Gypsies himself.
He said: “If they find a suitable site, you can’t complain against that, as long as the Travellers are paying taxes and sending their kids to local schools.
“You’ve got to keep all sides happy. It will be a hot political potato but you have to find the right balance.
“It’s in no-one’s interests to have Travellers illegally occupying property. No-one wants to wake up to find them in their back garden. They need somewhere to stay.
“This scheme would be good for cohesion between the two communities.”
The council’s latest position is revealed in its list of corporate plan work projects for 2008/09.
This says that once the £110,000 is secured, councillors will choose a site for the camp.
Following survey work, a formal planning application will be submitted to the DCLG and, following approval, contractors would be selected to start work on the project.
Council head of housing services Tony Mousdale said: “We have made a commitment to provide a residential site under our capital programme and we are putting together a bid for funding to the DCLG. We hope to hear the outcome in November and can make further plans then.”