Travellers invade Roundshaw Park again while Sutton Council promises £20,000 soil barriers
Travellers have set up camp yet again in Roundshaw Park but the council are promising to stop the problem by putting up £20,000 mounds of earth.
Residents have been calling for the council to find a permanent solution to stop travellers accessing the park.
A pony, caught running free on the park, was returned to the travellers with help from the police this morning.
Police in the park this afternoon
Now Sutton Council has agreed to spend £20,000 on erecting a 1.5m soil bund around the park with additional security features to stop travellers driving into the park.
The bunds have proved controversial particularly after an email, leaked to this newspaper, from the council’s head of parks which argued bunds had failed in the past – with determined travellers digging through them.
Councillor Joyce Melican, chairwoman of the Beddington and Wallington Local Committee which agreed the funding, said: “The park is a much-loved community asset and residents feel angry and frustrated when it is used as an illegal camp site.
“The committee decided that building a bund was the most cost-effective solution to the problem.”
The council is aware of the travellers currently on Roundshaw Park and are working to move them on as quickly as possible.
Sutton has seen an increase in traveller activity during the last year with fences and bollards being uprooted, walls knocked down and locks cut by travellers wanting to gain access to parks.
Clean-up costs are about £35 per hour for a member of staff, £100 per tonne for tipping costs. Bailiff costs vary but are typically between £1,000 and £2,500.
The £20,000 the council is planning to spend on bunds in Roundshaw Park will cover their initial construction over the next few months and some extra maintenance costs.
What do you think should be done about travellers in Sutton? Leave a comment below or email email@example.com.
A row of caravans in the park
Travellers have temporarily made the park their home
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