Councillor rocks up to stop travellers’ camp

Coun Anderson
Coun Anderson

Huge boulders have been placed to keep out travellers by a councillor “frustrated” about the time taken to move them along.

Huge boulders have been placed to keep out travellers by a councillor “frustrated” about the time taken to move them along.

Strawberry Bank in Huthwaite has had some unwanted visitors over the last few weeks, who left human waste at the site where they illegally camped.

Councillor Lee Anderson hired a digger and put two giant concrete boulders to prevent travellers returning to the spot.

The boulders, from a building which is being demolished, were put onto the Nottinghamshire County Council-owned site last week on Friday, January 26 – the day after the travellers moved from the site to Brierley Forest Park, having been pitched for several weeks.

Legal proceedings are now under way to remove the travellers from the park.

Coun Anderson said: “It is usual for these camps to go before bailiffs arrive.”

The travellers illegally used Strawberry Bank before Christmas.

Coun Anderson has said he put the boulders into place as soon as Ashfield District Council cleaned up the rubbish and waste left behind

According to the councillor, the clean-up operation cost £500.

He said: “I did it out of frustration of the county council being very slow to react .

“The travellers have been their twice and both times the district council has had to clean up at a great expense.

“They had basically left the site like a toilet on a massive scale.

“After a while, they had left that much rubbish that they couldn’t actually live there any more.

“Residents and allotment holders had to look at this on a daily basis. The village is no place for that behaviour. Taxpayers’ money can be better spent doing other jobs. ”

Waste left includes nappies, human excrement, toys and bags of rubbish.

A county council spokesman said the authority “appreciates local frustration”, but it “cannot condone blocking off a public highway”.

Coun Anderson said: “Within 48 hours of the rocks being in place the county council put out a public consultation to put steel barriers up. I believe the action forced them to do something.

“The support by residents and people around the county has been over whelming – that someone has take direct action.”

Gary Wood, from the county council, said: “The council fully appreciates the local frustration which has resulted from the illegal encampment at Strawberry Bank in Huthwaite, but we cannot condone blocking off of the public highway.”