Lack of pitches blamed for mess at park

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Special Report - By Stephen Briggs stephen.briggs@pe­ter­bor­oughto­ Twit­ter: @PTstephenB

A city coun­cil­lor has hit back at claims from a trav­ellers’ or­gan­i­sa­tion who said a trail of de­struc­tion left at play­ing fields was a re­sult of a lack of sites for en­camp­ments. The trav­ellers fly tipped rub­bis hand even burned out a car on Thurn­ing Av­enue play­ing fields in Stan ground last week.

But a spokesman for Friends, Fam­i­lies and Trav­ellers, a group rep­re­sent­ing trav­ellers, said :“Unau­tho­rised en­camp­ments such as these ex­ist due to a fail­ure of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to provide enough sites to stop on.

“If Peter­bor­ough had pro­vided sites these en­camp­ments would not ex­ist, and home­less trav­ellers would have sites to live on from where they could ac­cess ad­e­quate ed­u­ca­tion, health, run­ning wa­ter, refuse col­lec­tion, and pay rent and coun­cil tax.”

Stan­ground south cllr Chris Harper said: “We have to look at pitches, but there is no ex­cuse for leav­ing a site like this. I don’t ac­cept there can be any rea­son for this, caus­ing un­nec­es­sary work and ex­pense.

“Credit should go to Amey for do­ing a fan­tas­tic job clear­ing the park, but they should not have had to do it.”

Peter­bor­ough City Coun- cil leader cllr John Holdich added: “Peter­bor­ough is six pitches short, but there is no ex­cuse for rock­ing up on a piece of land and leav­ing a mess. There are trav­ellers who leave rub­bish in bin bags for us to pick up. Theonesw­holeave a mess are the ones that mean peo­ple don’t want pitches in their com­mu­nity.”

In his col­umn for the Peter­bor­ough Tele­graph this week, Peter­bor­ough MP Stew­art Jackson said pro­vid­ing more pitches would be a ‘knee jerk re­ac­tion.’ He added: “I’m un­con­vinced that the ex­ist­ing per­ma­nent sites in the city are well run, man­aged ac­cord­ing to the rules mostofthe­set­tled com­mu­nity ac­cept as a given and in­deed prop­erly po­liced.”

The mess left at Thurn­ing Av­enue

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