Posts Tagged ‘travellers’

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Counting the true cost of the Forty Acres traveller encampment

Posted on Friday 13th October 2017 at 8:34 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of reinstated boulders at the Hatchet Road access gate to Forty Acres.

Local councils in the Stokes have been counting the cost of a recent unauthorised traveller encampment in the Forty Acres area of Stoke Gifford and considering measures for increasing security at vulnerable sites.

Around thirty traveller caravans and associated vehicles entered Forty Acres after a lock and chain was cut on the vehicular access gate from Hatchet Road, opposite Meade Park, on 9th August. The travellers were eventually evicted by bailiffs on 18th August after Stoke Gifford Parish Council obtained and served a court order.

A meeting of the parish council on 12th September was informed that the legal costs associated with the securing the eviction, including legal advice, court charges and bailiff fees, were estimated to be in the region of £2,500.

Local residents were commended for assisting the parish council with litter picking and clearance work after the travellers had left, but it was nonetheless still necessary to use the services of South Gloucestershire Council’s grounds maintenance team to remove large quantities of white goods, mattresses, green waste and general rubbish that had been left behind, at a cost of just over £3,000.

Questions were asked about why boulders which had previously protected the Hatchet Road entrance to Forty Acres had been removed a number of years ago and never replaced. It is thought that this happened when either the Environment Agency or SGC were working on the site but no conclusive answers were forthcoming. Needless to say, the boulders have now been reinstated.

More: Bradley Stoke town clerk injured in repelling traveller vehicles »

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Travellers evicted from Stoke Gifford make short trip to Patchway

Posted on Friday 8th September 2017 at 11:44 pm by SH (Editor)

Unauthorised traveller encampment at Forty Acres, Stoke Gifford.

The issue of unauthorised traveller encampments, last seen locally during 2014 and 2015 on two sites in Bradley Stoke, hit the headlines again during August when around 30 caravans pitched up on Forty Acres in Stoke Gifford.

An area of rough grassland and scattered woodland, Forty Acres is located on the right side of Hatchet Road when travelling from Bradley Stoke to Stoke Gifford, on the opposite side of the road to Meade Park.

On Wednesday 9th August, local residents reported that around 15 traveller caravans and associated vehicles had entered the site. A statement appearing later on the Stoke Gifford Parish Council website reported that access had been gained “by cutting a bollard lock and gate chain on the vehicular access gate on Hatchet Road opposite Meade Park”. It added: “It is anticipated that the travellers will be removed within seven days, but any resident concerns about the site should be reported to the police.”

A South Gloucestershire council spokesperson was quoted as saying: “We are aware of the encampment and we have visited the site and we are currently in the process of organising the necessary welfare checks. We are working with partners at the police and parish council to negotiate with the families, in line with our standard procedures.”

Hopes were raised when the parish council announced that a Section 77 notice had been served requiring the site to be vacated by 3pm on Friday, but the deadline came and went and more caravans arrived over the weekend.

Local residents complained that vehicles had blocked paths through the site, dogs were being allowed to roam free and youngsters riding motor bikes were causing a nuisance.

More: Magistrates grant eviction order and bailiffs move in »

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