There is as yet no concrete idea of additional pitches for caravans in Alkmaar. This is apparent from the first periodic consultation between caravan dwellers and the municipality that took place yesterday. The group forced that consultation after they occupied a number of chalets at a sports complex in June that are intended for Ukrainian refugees. “We just haven’t made any progress yet,” the caravan dwellers say.
Travelers without a pitch moved in July in the chalets at sports park ‘t Lood in Alkmaar, and refused to leave those caravans before they too would get places from the municipality. Some of them have been waiting for their own site for more than thirty years, despite repeated promises from the municipality to create pitches.
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The Alkmaar alderman Gijsbert van Iterson Scholten promised in several conversations with the occupiers ‘to do everything possible to find locations for them’. “We will do our utmost to find extra places within three years. But there are no guarantees,” said the Alkmaar alderman on 21 July.
A agreement with that best efforts obligation was subsequently signed by both parties, after which the chalets would be vacated. A day later, after several incidentsorally additional promises by the alderman and hoped to have achieved something within two years.
It was also agreed to meet every eight weeks to discuss progress. The first periodic consultation took place this week. The municipality informs NH Nieuws that it has experienced the meeting as positive, but there are mixed feelings within the group of caravan residents who have joined.
For example, the municipality refused to sign a document from the group containing the additional verbal promises of the alderman. With that document they want black-and-white that ‘within two years at least thirty caravans and places have been developed’ for seekers.
“The starting point for the consultations were and are the agreements that the parties signed on July 21,” the municipality asks why no signature was made. “We made good agreements yesterday about who is at the table and how we treat each other.”
Tomas Vermanen, spokesperson on behalf of the caravan dwellers, is left with mixed feelings about the conversation. “They tell us that the temporary school in the Vroonermeer will only leave in 2024 (ten pitches are intended on that spot, ed.), and that there is no money. When I hear all that, it seems that the municipality does not will. And we have made no progress.”
Still, he has some faith in a happy ending. “Maybe I am too gullible or something. But without trust we will get nowhere. We do demand that there is movement in the process, and that we do not just hear: ‘can’t or no money’, because otherwise it makes little sense .”
In the coming weeks, both parties will look for possible locations together, after which they will meet again in November for a second consultation.