From the Argus
Four Traveller camps have sprung up in Brighton and Hove.
Residents claim children’s football matches have been cancelled after unauthorised encampments were set up on open spaces and public parks.
Brighton and Hove City Council said it had secured leaving dates for two of the encampments and said it would continue to monitor the camps, one of which has now been vacated.
But a Conservative councillor has suggested householders withhold their council tax until parks are cleared.
After a number of complaints from residents, council staff began clearing rubbish from the vacated unauthorised encampment in Hollingbury Park, Brighton.
Three other camps remain. The local authority said it has agreed with Travellers in East Brighton Park that the group would leave on Easter Monday to “avoid a costly formal eviction and disruption to the education of the children on site”.
A court order to evict another unauthorised encampment from 19 Acres, near Devil’s Dyke Road, has been granted but is not likely to be enforced until after the public holiday.
Residents reported a smaller encampment at Greenleas Recreation Ground near Hangleton Way, Hove, had grown to more than 30 caravans last night.
Children’s football matches at the recreation ground set for the coming week are being postponed, it is claimed.
Ward councillor Dawn Barnett said: “I would like to see residents withhold their council tax when they cannot use the public open spaces near their homes. Why are we paying for them when they are using the park and not paying for it.
“I think I’m speaking for more than 80% of residents when I say that.”
A council spokeswoman said: “A small group of Travellers moved on to Greenleas Park in Hangleton on Friday. Council staff visited the site again today with the police and are assessing the impact on the local community before deciding the next course of action.
“In the meantime the encampment will be monitored by the council and police.”