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Travellers return to Rainham car park for second time this year

PUBLISHED: 13:00 21 March 2014

Travellers have occupied a car park for the second time this year – prompting residents and councillors to criticise the council’s lack of preventative measures.

Caravans were first spotted in Bretons Outdoor Recreation Centre car park, in Rainham Road, Rainham, on Tuesday.

In protest, Cllr Barbara Matthews (Residents’ Group, Hacton) has proposed she will install a sign at the park saying “Bretons Municipal Caravan Park. No pre-booking necessary. Aggressive dogs, litter, and bags of human waste are welcome”.

This week, approximately eight caravans were spotted in the car park and, in January, there were up to 25.

Cllr Matthews, along with Barry Mugglestone, of the Hornchurch Residents’ Association, say the council has not done enough to prevent the travellers’ return.

Mr Mugglestone said: “The height and width restrictions have been removed so there’s no restrictions at all.

“Once they know they can get on to the site, they will keep coming back. It’s unacceptable.

“Bretons Manor is not the only site not to be secure from travellers. Bedfords Park [Havering-atte-Bower] is another unsecured area.”

There is also concern over horses that arrived at the park’s football pitches at the same time.

Cllr Matthews complained that it is “covered in their poo”.

Mr Mugglestone said: “There is horse manure all over the pitches and the council expect youngsters to play on this.

“I understand the youngsters might not catch an illness from this but it’s unacceptable for the youngsters to fall in it.”

A Havering Council spokesman said it had, in fact, ordered a barrier but is waiting for it to be delivered.

Cllr Andrew Curtin, cabinet member for culture, towns and communities, said: “We will not tolerate any type of illegal entry into our parks. We are closely monitoring the situation and will move the travellers on as soon as possible.”

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