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A muddy disgrace

Reporter: DAWN MARSDEN
Date online: 13 August 2014

A field scarred by wheel tracks and scrap building materials and rubbish piled high . . . this is the legacy of the travellers who occupied Oldham Edge over the weekend, a legacy for which Oldhamers will have to dig deep into their pockets to pay for.

The group, who arrived last Thursday, were finally removed on Monday night leaving Oldham Council with a mammoth mission to restore the popular site.

Deputy council leader Jean Stretton said: “The trail of destruction at Oldham Edge is totally unacceptable. When travellers arrive in the borough we always try to balance the rights of all those involved but this has to be a two-way process.

“Council staff were on site yesterday starting the first phase of a big clean up operation. Dozens of bags of waste were strewn across the site and tons of Tarmac and concrete had also been fly-tipped.

“This work not only diverts environmental services staff away from their day jobs, it will also cost tens of thousands of pounds.

“The cost isn’t just financial — the impact on the community is terrible. Oldham Edge is an important site which is a focal point for local people. They have been treated disrespectfully and we share their sense of outrage.

“Much of the damage is mindless vandalism and we take a zero tolerance stance on this kind of behaviour. We’d urge anyone with evidence and information about damage being caused to contact the police on 101.

“Finally, we thank local residents for their patience as we work to restore the site as quickly as possible.”

Oldham’s chief superintendent Caroline Ball added: “We always work with partners to support traveller families as they arrive in the borough. In this case it appears that criminal offences have been committed and I would urge people to contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they have evidence that will support a prosecution.”
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Comments

Does Jean stretton live in the real world. They can see who is causing the damage. They should be moved on immediately they park up. They are not an ethnic minority to be looked after, they are just people whe have no respect for authority or the communities they blight.

Awful result.

They have been on Oldham Edge plenty of times before making a mess of the place, fly-tipping and ruining the drainage of the park pitches. They will also be back next year and in the interim period there will be no prosecutions and no preventative measures. But, we still have to pick the cleaning tab up. Its about time Oldham Council actually backed up their words with strong action.

Unfortunately, stories like this one appear and have appeared frequently on the ages of the Chronicle for years. What is clear is that the Council, Councillors and political parties do not give a damn about the electorate because they would have sorted it out by now if they had any intention of doing so.

After the flood of messages to your paper regarding this damage caused by 'itinerant travellers'(other descriptions are unprintable)I was amazed and flabbergasted by the comments of C.S. Caroline Ball. This unmitigated chapter of disgrace was carried out over a number of days and she asks for identification of the offenders,etc. etc. What a laugh, where were the police and local council officials whilst this idiocy was occurring? It is 2014 for heavens sake and this sorry tale continues....!!

In the first instance we need to start engaging with these people, sitting down (and if possible) beginning a constructive dialogue with the intent of arriving at some meaningful resolution. Such action in no way removes the council's right to pursue legal recourse against said individuals. It merely acts as a brake on any possible escalation of the situation.

Ahhh, the Councillors and Police now wish to charge these people as they have now left. How about going in there and getting stuck in whilst they occupied the site. Its a laughable farce.
Never mind, use the taxpayers cash to clean it up eh?

Why do the police and councils refuse to impound their cars and then sell them to pay for the clean up cost? WHY??? They would do it to anyone else who owes money, so why not this lot!!!. Taxpayers cannot support this countries socialist ideals anymore, they have bankrupted us

There should be a zero tolerance on them being able to stop in the first place . Move them on immediately they pull up with no messing about with eviction orders .

These people live below the humanity line. They have nothing and therefore have nothing to loose. They do not even think they are doing any wrong. If there were a law to prevent them from their activities, there would be no appetite from the Law enforcers (not the Police) to action them. The only thing poor old "Joe Public" can do is when offered by a scruffy type to have your drive macadamed on the cheap. REFUSE IT. Because it will be poorly done and we will all end up paying the difference.

If this is the Councils notion of zero tolerance - no wonder the travellers return regularly. I believe some authorities, involve Police/Trading Standards/Vehicle Tax people/Benefits Agency etc and make regular unscheduled visits. That sounds more like it as a positive Zero tolerance stance.

Last Rat.....look at their vehicles...new 4x4's, new vans, new caravans. All bought with cash or more to the point...untaxed earnings.

Sean, WE do not need to engage with these people. They need to obey the laws that we all live by and show us that we can trust them to move onto open land and leave it in a respectable state.

Until the council and police make that first prosecution then nothing will change and we will be reading this story again and again.

These are not gypsies they are travelling builders who pay no tax,no tipping fees,no rents,no car tax or insurance,contribute nothing but will be back in Ireland come December at there houses in Rathkeel ps in Ireland these trailers caravans would be crushed by the local council the same day

Oldham’s chief superintendent Caroline Ball added: “We always work with partners to support traveller families as they arrive in the borough. In this case it appears that criminal offences have been committed and I would urge people to contact 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111!! Is this a joke? She wants to act NOW the travellers have left their destruction OMG. Says it all about our laws (only for some)

Shaun Mcgrath your post is priceless PC nonsense. Are you suggesting the Travellers are too dense to know making this kind of mess is wrong and all they need is some woolly Liberals to guide them?
It's your type of PC myopia that has enable this kind of behaviour to go on for far too long.
You wouldn't be calling for 'engagement' were it 'run of the mill', white working class people behaving this way.
The Travellers will keep treating the rest of us with contempt so long as we let them.

Just type the words 'gypsy & racism' into Google and you will see a huge number of left wing nutcase groups, committed to fighting for the rights of Gypsies against everyone else.
There really needs to be an additional tax levied on anyone who is a member of left of centre parties to pay for their insanity, and then perhaps we'd begin to see them exercising some common sense with money when it's their own

bollards....... why havent oldham council put up any bollards they never go on the pitch just down the road on crompton street because of the bollards.and the fly tipping went on before they arrived.

is it a given that fly tipping throughout the borough is the biggest culprit ? Given how the `tories` and the rabid right have led to cuts in council services are the biggest vandals here ?...leading to a loss of facilities for them ?

Sorry Antonio Gramsci, you seem to be having a failure of reality!
It wasn't the 'rabid right' which led to cuts in 'council services' It was the woeful mismanagement of the economy by the previous Labour shambles, who have admitted this, and apologised.
We are now one of the most indebted nations on earth, and despite the cuts, the debt is still rising at a level which is unsustainable.
Miliband has accepted he can't increase spending, hence the reality failure !

Gramsci you use a typical leftie tactic. You can't win the arguement so you try to change the argument. Well this case clearly has nothing to do with the tories. The so called Travellers have caused a lot of damage, again, and no one forced them to behave this way. Stop excusing the inexcusable.
As for lack of facilities for Travellers. Why on earth should we provide any? They don't pay taxes or contribute anything good. So why should a penny of my taxes go to these inconsiderate chancers?

As "get it right" points out, other Councils enter these illegal camps with agencies from other departments. Maybe these other councils do so to discourage them from gathering there again and send them on to other soft touch areas like Oldham. Here in Oldham, we have strong words from petty councillors and the Police AFTER they have left!!!

More drivel, Antonio, this has nothing to do with cuts in council services and more to do with your hatred of anything to the right of your political position. As a competent building contractor, I have to dispose of any waste to the correct landfill site and making due allowances in my costs. This is all about flagrant disregard of environmental laws knowing full well that local authorities/police will not prosecute.

I wonder if you would still be so charitable if this mess was in your garden

I live on oldham edge I made over a dozen calls to the environmental health department at oldham council and the police as the travellers arrived I was as were the other residents that the travellerswould be issued with an eviction notice as they had gained access by removing boulders to prevent them getting on the edge after many more calls I was told that they would be leaving Friday ! After destroying the fields and causing nuisance they were not in fact evicted until Monday no visit from co

 

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