Yesterday, I went as usual to the park, making sure Fern stayed well away from the travellers and their mess. When I fired up the computet later, one of the emails I read contained an attachment. This had been sent to a local councillor by a member of Brighton & Hove Council Traveller Liaison Team and he, the councillor, had sent it on. Part of the attachment read:
The current Traveller situation is as follows:
A group of English Gypsies, with 5 trailers, vacated land at East Brighton Park, and moved onto land at Happy Valley in the evening of Thursday 26 May. A joint visit, with the police, was made on Friday 27 May, and health and welfare checks were carried out. The presence of this encampment is not having a significant impact on the settled community, and therefore, no immediate action is required today.
A group of Irish Travellers and English Gypsies, with 14 trailers, vacated land at East Brighton Park, and moved onto land at Withdean Park in the evening of Thursday 26 May. A joint visit, with the police, was made on Friday 27 May, and health and welfare checks were carried out. The presence of this encampment is not having a significant impact on the settled community, and therefore, no immediate action is required today.
The councillor's response to the autocratic bureaucrat was:
This encampment IS having a major impact on the settled community and I have had numerous complaints regarding this issue. On the opposite side of the A23 there are a number of blocks of flats occupied by hundreds of residents, all of whom live in my ward (Withdean) that directly overlook this encampment. Withdean Park is actually in Patcham Ward and I had spoken to Geoffrey Theobald who has also had numerous residents contacting him complaining about this group of travellers.
This group must be removed from this site immediately as this is a highly sensitive area and is extremely well used by large numbers of residents from across the city, especially at weekends such as this bank holiday.
Well, something happened as the travellers\gypsies were gone this morning. I wish I could say they have gone without trace but, of course, they have left behind the remnants of fires on the grass with litter and rubbish blowing everywhere. They have probably fouled the woods as well. But this morning, also, there was a council van on site to start the clear-up.
I have nothing against people wanting to live a life of vagrancy, but I do wish they would respect other peoples' rights, refrain from causing damage and not expect local councils to spend money on them when they pay neither rates nor taxes.