Council vowing to evict travellers after families move into four different sites across the borough
PUBLISHED: 09:49 15 July 2016 | UPDATED: 11:17 15 July 2016
Angry parents labelled travellers “a disgrace” after they moved on to a school field putting the pupils’ end-of-year sports day in doubt.
A padlocked gate to the field in Balgores Lane, Gidea Park, was smashed open on Wednesday afternoon, with horses and caravans swiftly moving on to the site.
Squirrels Heath Junior School, Salisbury Road, had planned to hold its sports day on the field today, but was left searching for a new venue at the last minute.
Joanne Allen’s son attends the school. She said: “I’m fuming, that’s my boy’s school field and now it’s likely his sports day will be cancelled.
“It’s a disgrace. The school are trying to find another venue but the travellers should be made to pay the cost that the school will have to pay.”
Travellers have moved on to four sites in the borough in the space of a week with Havering Council vowing to crack down on camps in parks and private land across the borough.
Eviction notices have been served at four sites in the past week - two of which were served by Havering Council– but families remained at three as the Recorder went to press yesterday.
Last Friday, travellers arrived at the car park of the former Mecca Bingo in High Street, Hornchurch, with an eviction notice served the following day.
Despite the action, caravans remain at the site owned by supermarket chain Lidl.
One member of the traveller community told the Recorder “We’ll leave when we want to leave”.
Residents in Harold Hill raised health and safety concerns after a horse was tied to a children’s play area in Central Park, on Tuesday.
It is believed the travellers who surrounded the children’s playground went to land next to Gidea Park Library, Balgores Lane, after being moved on by Parks Protection Officers on Wednesday morning.
Travellers also moved on to Angel Way car park, Romford, this week.
Cllr Osman Dervish, cabinet member for regulatory services said: “We are aware that we have an influx of determined travellers in the borough this week.
“The police have now served a notice which requires the travellers [in Gidea Park] to leave by the end of today (Thurs).
“If the travellers do not respond to the notice, they will be evicted.”
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