From the Dorset Echo
RESIDENTS have been warned not to give building work to doorstep traders after Travellers set up camp on a recreation ground.
Many of the Travellers at Haskells Rec in Newtown are believed to be the same group who were at the Beach Road car park in Branksome Chine last month.
When they moved on from Branksome Chine, they landed Poole council with a bill for clearing up the large amount of rubble left behind.
The Travellers began arriving at the recreation ground on Tuesday, with Poole council counting 18 caravans and two tents.
The council has secured a court hearing on Monday, May 28, but is concerned the Travellers will be less likely to leave if people give them building work to do.
Jeff Morley, team manager at the Borough of Poole, said: “We would advise residents not to agree to anyone calling at your door offering building or driveway replacement without obtaining at least two written quotations from a member of an approved trader scheme, specifying work to be undertaken and a notice to a ‘cooling off period’ should you change your mind.”
He said officials were regularly visiting the site to provide refuse sacks, assess the behaviour of Travellers and reduce the impact on the area.
Some parents told the Daily Echo they were concerned about their children using the rec’s playground while the Travellers were there. But several neighbours said they did not have a problem with their presence.
Helen Hughes, of nearby Haskells Road, said yesterday: “They had lots of kids in the play area and were letting their dogs run in there, but at 9pm all the kids were gone from the playground and it was very quiet. There was no aggro.
“The police were good. They put letters around to everybody saying that if they were bothered by any bad behaviour to contact them, otherwise contact the Borough of Poole.”
Near neighbour George Lake said: “There’s been no trouble.
“We’ve been here 55 years and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen them on there.”
Another Haskells Road resident, who did not want to be named, said: “I was a little bit concerned because there are so many of them but by 9pm or 9.15pm last night they had all settled down. You could hear their generators going but that was it.
“Some people have said ‘I’m not going to let my kids play there while they’re here’, but there’s been no problem.
“They have to go somewhere.”