GYPSIES and travellers arriving in Gargrave this year on their way to Appleby Horse Fair in June are set to be handed a new code of conduct.

A draft strategy for how it responds to the annual stopping off in the village, sometimes for several days, has been drawn up by Gargrave Parish Council following complaints of anti-social behaviour and calls to the police last year.

The document, put together by a group of parish councillors and residents, includes advice and the length of time those arriving in horse-drawn bow-top caravans, as opposed to motorised vehicles, will be allowed to stay on the village greens.

It also calls for dogs to be kept under control and for the visitors to respect the village and its residents.

Once the strategy is signed off by police, the fire and ambulance services, North Yorkshire Council and the RSPCA, it will be adopted and published in the village, heard yesterday's (Wednesday)  meeting of the parish council.

Cllr Stephen Coetzer, chair of the parish council, said the strategy was an attempt to work with the gypsies and travellers in an amicable and conflict-free way.

"We want to establish a working relationship with the traveller groups; yes come into our village, but we are saying, respect our village, and don't be anti-social," he said.

An 'encampment protocol' will allow horse-drawn bow-top caravans a three-day stop-off in the village; arriving on day one, resting the horses on day two, and leaving on day three.

Any staying longer than than than the agreed three days will be issued with a notice; while there will be a different protocol for those in motorised vehicles and caravans.

Cllr Coetzer said it was also important to remind residents if there was any anti-social behaviour they must report it to police, even if it meant a long wait getting through; because last year, only six incidents had been logged by police.

Councillors agreed to move to phase two of getting the strategy in place by getting it signed off by police, fire and rescue and ambulance services, North Yorkshire Council, and the RSPCA.

Members agreed it was important to get the strategy signed off by the end of April so it could be distributed in the village before Appleby Horse Fair, which is due to start on June 6.

Appleby Horse Fair is an annual gathering of gypsies and travellers in Appleby, Cumbria, which takes place over the first week in June and is attended by thousands of people.