fourth group of travellers on barony park in 2019

Nantwich Mayor Arthur Moran has pledged to stage a public meeting to plot a way forward in tackling unauthorised traveller camps on Barony Park.

Cllr Moran made the suggestion at a town council meeting last night (May 16) where scores of angry residents living by the park vented their frustration.

The park – run by Cheshire East Council’s leisure arm Everybody – currently has its fourth unauthorised traveller camp of the year on it.

A spokeswoman for the residents presented a detailed dossier which they say shows the failures and delays by Cheshire East Council in providing an official transit site for travellers and in installing a barrier around Barony Park.

The “timeline of inaction” (below) also highlighted the proactive efforts made by residents to resolve the issues, and called for “harmony” and warned against “discriminatory” behaviour.

She added: “The situation cannot continue.

“Residents have requested a transit site update and long-term defences. No more delays, no more fob off tactics.”

The packed meeting applauded the speech.

Timeline - travellers barony park

“Timeline of inaction”

Cllr Moran said he would now organise a public meeting with relevant CEC councillors, officials, police and residents now that Cheshire East Council would be under a new Labour-Independent “administration”.

“Barony Park is a public park, and although they say the most recent travellers have respected the area, I’ve heard there was anti-social behaviour going on as we speak.

“I’ve seen first hand what other groups have left behind on the park that had to be cleaned and cleared away. Things have to change.”

He told the meeting that Everybody Leisure has £2 million investment programme in Nantwich Pool and Barony Park.

This, he added, would be spent on a new multi-use treatment room, consulting rooms, disabled access lift, and an outdoor running “trail” around the park protected by a form of “barrier”, the design of which would be agreed by local residents.

A meeting has been set up with the new finance portfolio holder on May 30.

“I’ve been outside the tent for too long, but now we are inside we can have some influence,” he added, referring to the May 2 local election results.

A number of residents questioned why it took Cheshire East Council four days to raise a Section 77 notice to leave, which was served on the current travellers yesterday (May 16).

Others turned their anger on the police, saying they lack a presence and do not tackle anti-social and criminal behaviour by some traveller groups.

One resident said: “Why are they always parking by the children’s play area? We don’t know who they are, whether they have criminal records. There is a very serious danger here for our kids.”

Another added: “There is criminal behaviour with driving and and down on the park, doing ‘donuts’ – it’s an accident waiting to happen.”

A resident asked why police are not using the Section 59 power to clamp down on “vehicles used in manner causing alarm, distress or annoyance” on the park.

Sgt Martin Caldwell, representing Cheshire Police at the meeting, said: “I can’t comment on every incident.

“There was an incident called in today (May 16) but the vehicle involved was not dealt with.”

One resident replied: “There is no police presence, and someone is going to get hurt. It’s been going on for years.

“Surely a PCSO presence throughout the day would stop these people driving around the park.”

One man told the meeting any proposed “transit” site in Cheshire East had to offer better facilities and location than Barony Park.

“The reason they come to the Barony is because of its location, close to town centre, its amenities, and the play area for the kids.

“The alternative has to be better than they currently have here otherwise they won’t go.

“You can build a site with gold taps – but if it’s 4 miles out of town they won’t be interested.”

Cllr Moran said he hoped the public meeting would be held before the end of June.

Regarding the current unauthorised camp, A Cheshire East Council spokesperson said a Section 77 Notice was served on the travellers at Barony Park on May 16.

“They will be given until 2pm Friday to vacate the site. Failure to do so will result in court proceedings.”

6 Comments

  1. They will be back again as soon as Appleby Fair is over

  2. Mr Grumpy says:

    I’ve just read that a community police officer based in Sandbach has been awarded an MBE for his community work. Particular mention is made of work with the traveller and roma community. Has he spent any time trying to stop the lawbreaking on the Barony Park? If so, this must be a reward for failure.

  3. Sam Turner says:

    Nothing will ever change unless EVERY resident makes a stand, clearly there is a hidden agenda here, nothing done for over two years, clearly someone knows why.

  4. victoria says:

    barriers asap!

  5. Now the Government has launched the Urban Tree Challenge Fund perhaps we could plant a couple of hundred trees around the perimeter helping the environment and the aesthetics of the park with a few strategically placed boulders and benches at almost no cost to keep them off the land.

  6. AngryResident says:

    It’s currently 14:00 on Saturday the 18th and they’re still there now.

    So much for the notice of eviction huh.

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