The morning after they left I went down to the area of car park occupied to capture the scene...it was much worse than I was expecting...in truth I felt like crying, and as I walked around my heart was beating faster than normal.
Criminal damage to the metal bollards which were pulled up and the wooden bollards next to them were chainsawed off to allow for all the vehicles, caravans and horses.
Initially it doesn't look too bad does it?
But when you turn around a scene of devastation awaits you. Take a walk with me, but mind where you step, nappies, excrement and just about everything else litters the ground.
This is a huge car park area and although it's difficult to tell from the photos some of the piles of waste are almost five foot high
The stream runs along the back here, where the reeds are littered with rubbish. No Kingfishers or Ducks about now!
An area of the stream which must have suffered badly due to it's open access when the toilets were shut. Broadsands beach was closed to bathers by Environmental Health due to the poor water quality from the stream for a few days.
Waste from local employment left for the council to clean up. Householders should not employ people knocking on the door as this is just one of the consequences of cheap labour, never mind the loss of work for legitimate local businesses.
But up close it was worse than I had expected
Several mattresses were dumped here as well as the rest
Whilst law abiding citizens waited for the departure of the unwelcome visitors, Torbay Parking services were busy issuing parking tickets to locals and tourists....I kid you not!
A local pensioner was given a parking ticket at 8.30am in the morning for not getting her car quite within the white lines of the parking bay. Her car was one of only three in the car park. No parking tickets were issued at the encampment....and you might be interested to know why...here is the reply...
"Although your Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) was correctly given, we have cancelled it on this occasion after carefully considering what you say. Although we sympathise with you about the travellers, they have to be dealt with via current legislation. If we were to issue them with PCNs, that would be tantamount to saying they were legally parked there, which they are not"
How much mess can you make in three weeks by the seaside?...well quite a lot!
Don't worry... Councillors and our MP say everything was done properly to support the families and ensure that the human rights of these visitors was not violated during their stay.
And we all thought... Fly tipping, dog fouling, and criminal damage were all actually criminal offences...apparently it all depends on who you are.
Some snippets of information from a council website below:
When can the Council move them on?
If gypsies/travellers are camped on Council land, the Council can recover possession of their land by using a County Court Order, if their land is occupied without their consent.
If the gypsies/travellers are on Council land and are causing problems they will be moved on as soon as is possible and reasonable. The Council will consider each case on its merits. In all cases the site is visited and every effort made to make sure that the gypsies/travellers keep the site tidy and do not cause public health problems.
Can the Council remove gypsies/travellers from their land immediately?
No, the Council must:
- show that the Gypsies/Travellers are on the land without consent
- make enquiries regarding the general health, welfare and children's education
- ensure that the Human Rights Acts 1998 has been fully complied with
- establish ownership of land.
This will depend upon the circumstances of each individual case. The Council will need to take account of the issues outlined above as well as how soon they can obtain a Court hearing date.
If they are not causing a problem, the Government has asked that consideration be given to tolerating encampments for short periods of time.
The above information was extracted from: http://www.woking.gov.uk/planning/envhealthservice/control/unauthencampfaqs
So there you have it folks.....nothing more to be said!