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Clear-up will cost fortune as travellers reduce site to a muddy mess

Reporter: HELEN KORN
Date online: 12 August 2014

TAXPAYERS are facing a clean-up bill of thousands of pounds, after travellers wrecked Oldham Edge.

More than 30 caravans, tractors and diggers have been parked up since Thursday morning with no sign of budging.

Even delivery men have been spotted bringing takeaways in the early hours to the site — which is in a “horrific” state.

The travellers had previously been moved on from Sainsbury’s car park in Oldham town centre.

Last night, police issued notice that action will be taken to remove them from Oldham Edge under police powers.

But residents are fuming as they claim the council told them this had already happened last week.

Oldham Council says it had only issued a warning letter on Friday as it “did not have the resources” to deal with the incident over the weekend.

The Whitehouse Inn, which had to cancel two of its weekend functions, has been keeping its door closed to unfamiliar faces.

One customer reported travellers banging on the pub’s windows, demanding the postcode so that more travellers could find the area. Motorbikes were driven through the middle of footballers in training on the pitch on the top field.

Joan Hague, landlady at the Whitehouse, said: “When the officers served the notice last night, they opened the gates, left the site and then more caravans came in! It’s ridiculous!

“I was told by the council that the enforcement notice had already been given. I’m absolutely disgusted with the whole thing. They’ve been flytipping too — they’ve ruined the Edge.”

Councillor Barbara Brownridge said: “We’re appalled at the damage that has been done to Oldham Edge and will not tolerate it.

“We issued a letter to the travellers on Friday stating that we would take action to remove them if they didn’t leave of their own accord.

“Forcible eviction requires substantial resources, which were unavailable. We continue to work closely with GMP who have now issued notice that action will be taken to remove them under police powers.

“The local community — including neighbouring residents and businesses — has every right to be angry about the damage that has occurred.

“Although it is notoriously difficult to deliver speedy prosecutions for damage against individuals who have no fixed address, Oldham Council and GMP take a zero tolerance stance against this kind of anti-social behaviour.”

The council pledges — once the site has been vacated — to clear up the mess left behind as quickly as they can.
To read the full story go to the E-Chron digital edition via the website or buy the Chronicle.


Cant the police seize the travellers property or vehicles until they clear up their own mess, Why should the Oldham Tax payer foot the bill? UTTERLY LUDICROUS!

At one time you couldn't prosecute them for flytipping as you needed to identify the individual concerned. However the Police and Council DO have the power to prosecute under the Joint Enterprise law. Why are they not using this to tow away and impound ALL vehicles until fines, or cleanup costs, are paid?

How hard would it be to photograph registration plates & get the police to stop & seize vehicles when they pop up on ANPR?

It's done all the time for insurance, no road tax etc. Why not trespass & damage?

Why dont the police and council confiscate their caravans and vehicles to recover the clean up costs. Its about time this scum was sorted out once and for all!

I bet if the local community took the law into their own hands, the police would find the resources to deal with them.

Leave them locked in there until they have cleared the area, and if they have been given an eviction notice, arrest them the minute they overstay that notice.

Why do we, as a civilized society, have to tolerate these people? They bring absolutley nothing to the table and only leave a wake of destruction in their path wherever they go. These people have no fear of the law and the councils idle threats.
Councillor Brownridge states "we will not tolerate it", Councillor, we are tolerating it and we tolerate it every time. If an offence is commited and the Police do not have a legitimate address to serve a summons then they have the power of custody.

If you parked your car at the bottom of the steps at the civic centre how long would it be before the council got it towed away? a week, ten days? don't think so.

It is a rare thing when every letter/e-mail sent to the Chronicle has the same collective thoughts. How many similar stories over the years have been amassed in the media as to the total lack of care these hordes of unwashed and criminal gangs have shown??? They do not care one jot about the community and ride roughshed over every canon of the law. Mealy mouth liberals back them up(but do not want them in their backgarden)with the law & its servants caught like rabbits in headlights glare!!!

Softly approach all the time with travellers because of the PC brigade. My friend dropped a cigarette and was fined! Come on council/police take action. Clamp/impound vehicles until fines are paid, not like it ligitimate money anyway. From the rubble this is tarmac so the odd driveway been done without declaring to the taxman. They want they want but are not prepared to pay anything.

i have read all previous comments why is it that they are being called scum in all areas of the country no matter were you go you get good and bad people irrespective of race creed or colour NO I AM NOT A GYPSY but i live in an area were Gypsies live side to side with all the community wether it be in a house or in a travellers camp all they want is to be treated with a little bit of respect the ones i know go out of there way to help out in the community.

Whilst in previous posts I have expressed concern at some of the disquieting pejorative-terms that have been used in relation to the traveller community, I nonetheless condemn wholeheartedly the damage that has been done.

Same old same old from the Travellers and the council. As ProDriver says why don't the council or Police get vehicle registration details and check if road tax has been paid. It is almost certain that none of the vehicles are taxed. So impound them.The governments own website makes it clear that an untaxed vehicle can be instantly clamped or impounded.
When the owners come to claim them back check their tax records. Why don't the authorities deal with these serial abusers of our hospitality?

I don't know what all the fuss is about!
Just think of the ways that their vibrancy & diversity has enriched your lives !
Incidentally when a bunch of lefties were asked what benefits other than music & food diversity had brought, they were unable to name a single thing other than the usual bully words and vile language, culminating in one suggesting an execution !

Its not rocket science, Cameron & Clegg please target these people like you have hit everybody else, make it illegal for them to participate in this behavior in our country, & dip their tanks for red diesel & check their vehicles to ensure they are insured & have a valid MOT, if you do this you will take a lot of them off the road & make a lot of taxpayers very happy.

People of Oldham... Just remember who did NOTHING about this when the next LOCAL elections come around and these jobsworths are knocking on your doors asking for your vote!!! YOU/WE picked up the bill AGAIN !!!!!!!!!!
These 'travellers' are constantly laughing at the likes of us. They have a week's 'holiday' here and there before being moved on!! It DOESN'T BOTHER NOR INCONVENIENCE THEM!!!

Quite funny reading some of these remarks, and the mistaken belief that we live in a democracy !
Following the 'New Age Travellers' the Tory government of the day brought in legislation that meant 'travellers' could be moved on quickly and efficiently.
However, in the early days of this legislation those seeking to use it came before an unelected unaccountable liberal judge whose decision effectively crippled the act so it is now impossible to use effectively.
Voting for our judges is democracy!

Grannygrumps: where is this social utopia where travellers and others live happily side by side? Because it isn't anywhere round here.

Grannygrumps really? Seeing the mess and destruction left on the field do you really feels they are the nicest people? Are you for real? They have no regard because they dont need to as they are not interested they come destroy, take things without consent (make of that as you will) and leave why would they want to have any concerns for the locals who are paying thousands of pounds in council tax for the clean up.

Once again the rabid right and the reactionary mob spout their poison....has anyone tried to engage with the travellers??.

Antonio - in answer to your question YES for about 30-40 years. Numerous reports, studies, strategies and legislation has changed little or nothing!

Antonio...how dismissive of you to call law-abiding, tax-paying citizens "rabid right and reactionary". Do you really think "engaging" with these people will change how they live? Travellers want to go around living their life under their own rules and softly-softly, touchy-feely left-whingers such as yourself and this lame, impotent bunch of councillors permit them to do so. If a poll was done today, my guess would be that over 90% would want clean up costs to be recovered off the travellers.

My my Gransci aren't you the intolerant one? Do you consider everyone with a different point of view to yours as 'rabid right'? Why don't you go and engage with them and let us know how you get on.
Let's try thing from a different angle. Why don't the Travellers come and 'engage' with us whatever that means? Why is it always incumbent on law abiding citizens to go to lawless, tax dodgers and ask them what they want to spend our taxes on? I don't want my taxes spent on this inconsiderate lot.

P.s Gramsci why don't you remind us how your beloved Communists treated the Roma. Oh don't bother I will do that for you. The Czech Communists forcibly sterilised Roma women.
That's the rabid left for you. Aren't facts inconvenient?


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