Anger at mess left on council car park after week-long traveller camp

A mayor is in talks to install preventative measures after travellers left rubbish on a car park where they had camped for more than a week.

Some of the rubbish left in the car park
Some of the rubbish left in the car park

Roy Aldcroft, mayor of Market Drayton, said the mess left behind by the travellers in Towers Lawn car park this week was "absolutely ridiculous" and he hopes they can prevent it happening again.

Councillor Aldcroft is in talks with Shropshire Council, which owns the site, to install a barrier or something similar stop it happening again.

"It's absolutely ridiculous, over 20 caravans arrive on Towers Lawn car park along with associated vehicles, stay for nine days and create a huge amount of rubbish, ignore court orders to move on and get away without even a parking ticket," he said.

"Shropshire Council was forced to go back to the court for a further order to enforce the original which was totally ignored.

"I have started a dialogue with officers at Shropshire Council with a view to consulting about installing a 6ft barrier at the entrance to prevent a re-occurrence, and also to protect residents of the housing on Towers Lawn from any potential nuisance.

"It's about consulting with everybody though because there are other traders who need access to that car park. They do need to do something for the people who live in the houses on that street.

Rubbish left in the car parks

"Shropshire Council spent considerable time this week clearing the rubbish. They left a big mess which is then paid for by the ratepayers.

"They ignore the law and use the area which stops council income from the car park for nine days. It does not do their reputation any good. We do need to take action to prevent it happening again."

A Shropshire Council spokesman said: “The gipsy travel family liaison team served initial notices at Towers Lawn car park for the group to quit, and due to the group’s failure to vacate applied to the court for a hearing date for possession of the land.

“Shropshire Council’s parking contracts team are arranging a meeting with Councillor Aldcroft to look at the options and speaking with local businesses that may be affected by any work to install preventative measures.”

Councillor Aldcroft said the cost of the clean-up and disinfection of the area is borne by taxpayers.

He said: "It is totally unfair at a time when all local authorities are desperately trying to fund social care and road repairs.

"The law needs to be changed regarding this which has no regard to the community affected, no costs are recovered, even the court costs are paid by the local authority.

"The law should protect landowners and local authorities and to this end I am also writing to Owen Paterson MP regarding lobbying a change in the law."

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