A TRAVELING father of six has hit back today at false claims by local residents that gypsies are “criminals” – he insists he runs his own business and has never claimed benefits.
Tracy McCready passionately defended the community he’s proud to participate in during an investigation into the planning series.
He was the only member of his vast extended family to appear in person at his public appeals hearing to contest a council decision not to allow him to build five new traveler sites at his current location.
Mr McCready said: “We are good law-abiding people who work hard and never claim benefits.”
Harborough District Council defended its refusal to allow eight additional caravans and mobile homes on its large property in the village of Bitteswell, on the outskirts of Lutterworth, Leicestershire.
Council officials said there had been numerous objections and complaints from local residents who feared more caravanning work would attract more travelers to the site.
But the complaint that sparked anger was that their presence caused “an increased risk or fear of crime” in the community.
Mr McCready, who appealed the decision, wept at times as he spoke passionately and eloquently about his chosen way of life.
He said, “If I don’t get a building permit because I’m a gypsy, I’ll be punished for a crime I never committed.”
“I work hard, I run a landscape gardener and my two older sons work with me and another helps out.
“We want to provide for our family and we want to do it right.
“We pay our own way, we pay our own taxes and we don’t claim benefits.”
The married businessman, who has five sons ranging in age from three to 21 and a 20-year-old daughter, added: “People judge us because we are gypsies.”
He said it was unfair that he was being judged by locals because of his lifestyle, saying: “There is nothing bad to say about me or my family.
“We take nothing from society, we are good people, law-abiding and not troublemakers. We don’t commit crimes.”
Mr McCready told how he stopped suspected wayward youths at his camp at Merw Meadows in Mere Lane, which has 42 berths, by reprimanding them.
He told Public Inquiry Inspector Ms Karen Taylor, who was sitting at the council’s headquarters, the Symington Building in Market Harborough, Leics, that he felt he had the support of some villagers and local police officers.
We take nothing from society, we are good people, law abiding and not troublemakers. We don’t commit crimes
The father, who did not give his age, said it was unfair to smear the traveler community with criminal activity and anti-social behavior, saying it was a misunderstanding.
He explained that possible culprits were “in the minority, not the majority.”
He added, “I understand people’s concerns, but getting rid of good people to make way for bad people is not our way.”
Mr McCready, who appears to the father figure in the camp where he has lived for 14 years and where he owns the largest properties, said: “If there’s misbehaving kids in the camp, if there’s a problem we solve it.”
He recounted a situation where “a child stole a stamp from the local post office” and after complaints made the parents “pay for that stamp”.
When asked by the Appeals Inspector how the failure of the building permit would affect his family life, he replied: “It would have a major impact on family life.
“This is our family home and we want to provide for all members.”
He shared how his son had recently married and wanted children, and how his teens needed their own space and trailer as adults.
He said he has four cousins who live on the premises, plus their parents and children, a brother-in-law and his parents, and “a whole bunch of other cousins.”
He added, “You need a home for your family and we need more space for ours.”
Recounting how his sons liked football and one went to church, he said: “Yes, gypsies play football and go to church.
“We integrate ourselves into the community.”
But he explained that his children didn’t go to the local schools as they were homeschooled.
Amy Gentle, mother of five, debunks myths that travelers don’t pay taxes, always want to live on the streets and leave a trail of garbage.
And she vowed never to hide who she really is – despite being treated as “the lowest of the low” on a daily basis.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5968669/im-a-traveller-run-own-business-dont-need-benefits/ I’m a traveling father of 6 – I run my own business and do NOT need benefits…here are 3 things people get wrong about us