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26th Jun, 2022

Taxpayers left with cost and mess by Droitwich travellers encampment

Droitwich Editorial 26th Jun, 2014 Updated: 17th Oct, 2016

TAXPAYERS will have to foot the bill to clean up a Droitwich field and its surroundings which was left strewn with waste and soiled with human faeces.

Wychavon District Council bosses have said to return Saint George’s Field, off Ombersley Way, to its former glory would cost a ‘considerable amount’.

An illegal travellers encampment occupied the site for almost two weeks, finally leaving on Tuesday (June 24) after the authority served them with a notice to leave.

But, getting rid of them turned out to be a lengthy process, with the council, which owns the site, beginning legal action on June 17.

On Tuesday (June 24), after the travellers initially refused to vacate the site, the issue was brought before Worcester Magistrates’ Court and the police were then able to help move the camp on, later that day.

The Standard has since received reports from the public that some of the travellers may have now moved to the town’s Addis Way.

Complaints were first made to the police on June 20 about human waste and toiletry products dumped alongside the path, next to the canal which, residents claimed, created heath hazards, smells and an unsightly impact.

Wychavon District Council said, as well as paying for the site to be cleaned, new bollards would have to be installed at the field’s entrance.

A police spokeswoman appealed for witnesses who might have seen anyone dumping waste there illegally to contact officers on 101.

Coun Bob Brookes said the council did all it could within the limitations of the law to clear the site but it was a much slower process than anyone would have liked.

He added: “We are all obviously aware of the traveller illegal encampment in the area and the impact this was having on the surrounding environment.

“It is such a shame all the efforts to encourage the use of the canal and its conservation areas from Droitwich to Salwarpe village for leisure activities, is being marred by indiscriminate dumping of such unhealthy deposits.”

Jack Hegarty, the council’s managing director, said: “We have spent a considerable amount of taxpayers’ money to secure our land to ensure thing sort of thing doesn’t happen again.”

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