Trav­ellers are harm­ing town

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - OPINIONS & LETTERS -

WHEN will Der­byshire Dales Dis­trict Coun­cil re­alise the harm the trav­ellers are do­ing to Ash­bourne? I ap­pre­ci­ate there are rules, laws and poli­cies pro­tect­ing the fam­ily from the sort of in­ter­ven­tions that the coun­cil might as­sert on us nor­mal tax-pay­ing mem­bers of so­ci­ety, but they’re cur­rently walk­ing all over our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem and enough is enough.

I’ve heard and seen re­ports over the last few days of some very un­savoury be­hav­iour at the unau­tho­rised en­camp­ment at the leisure cen­tre and I know of peo­ple who have stopped us­ing the leisure cen­tre be­cause they’re wor­ried they may have to park near the car­a­vans.

This has got to stop. The coun­cil might be in a sticky wicket but a firmer hand is needed to en­sure these town cen­tre en­camp­ments can­not con­tinue.

At the mo­ment, for ex­am­ple, there is noth­ing to stop the fam­ily, when they are fi­nally evicted, mov­ing back to Fish­pond Meadow. Why have the gates not been pad-locked? Why are the fences still up and the Por­taloo still in situ? Seems like an open in­vi­ta­tion to me.

I’m ac­tu­ally sur­prised they’ve not moved back to their sum­mer res­i­dence on the QEGS play­ing field dur­ing the Christ­mas break. Again, noth­ing has been done to pre­vent ac­cess to that, from what I can see.

Where they choose to go next will be any­one’s guess. But it’s look­ing like Mat­lock Bath won’t be on their agenda. Bus sta­tion per­haps? Shaw Croft?

Pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures must be taken to en­sure they have nowhere to go in the town cen­tre. It’s not hard to do. And I doubt it would cost any more than it would to clear up after them. A lit­tle bit of for­ward think­ing, please, Der­byshire Dales Dis­trict Coun­cil.

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