From the Accrington Observer
Travellers have set up camp on a disused piece of land – a week after another group was evicted by the council. Four caravans moved on to a site off Balfour Street and Park Road in Great Harwood on Thursday, April 12. It comes after five caravans were forced to leave the land after being served an enforcement notice by Hyndburn council earlier this month.
Council deputy leader Coun Clare Pritchard said the issue is becoming a ‘daily nightmare’. She said: “It’s not the same Travellers as before. I’m more than frustrated. “I got the message at 7am and officers from environmental health were there by 8.30am. We will be serving them with an enforcement notice. “There are Travellers being moved from Blackburn. We are not the only borough facing problems but we are working to absolute capacity.”
Last month the council wrote to communities secretary Eric Pickles calling for new legislation to deal with unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller sites. Coun Pritchard said they have yet to receive a response and will now look to set up face-to-face talks with Mr Pickles.
She said: “We need to get some government legislation to help deal with it. “At the moment it’s a red tape minefield. I will be pressing Graham Jones to get me an appointment with Eric Pickles to discuss the issue. We are desperate for help.”
Netherton ward candidate Lynn Wilson said the site has been targeted several times by Travellers in the past 18 months and has residents ‘totally fed up.’ She said: “I went to a PACT meeting and it was mentioned. They don’t want them coming back at all. It’s a mess, it looks awful, it’s in a residential area and it’s just not fair.” Lynn Wilson is standing for the Conservatives against Labour’s Noordad Aziz in next months borough council elections.