A GROUP of travellers who set up camp on two sites in Brighouse have left the area after bring threatened with eviction by Calderdale Council.
A group of around seven caravans moved onto Bramston Street recreation area on June 25, to the consternation of local residents, before moving onto Lane Head recreation ground on Sunday.
They left on Tuesday night and are believed to now be in the Bradford area.
People living on Bramston Street said they were relieved the travellers had moved on but wanted action to stop them returning.
Mum-of-two Amanda Lawton said she was dismayed when the travellers’ vans arrived on the recreation ground.
“I felt very intimidated. I didn’t dare leave my windows or doors open or take my children to play in the park. The travellers seemed to show no respect for the police and I witnessed a number of offences including children wielding knives and wooden clubs. To be fair some of the local children were goading them and shouting at them which didn’t help matters. I know the council was inundated with phone calls about them and it was just a huge relief when they decided to go on Sunday evening. They left some gas bottles and bags of rubbish which the council cleared up very promptly.”
Undertaker Gavin Screen, who has a funeral chapel on the site, said he was hugely relieved that the travellers had moved on from Bramston Street and surprised that they had not caused more damage.
“The council should deliver boulders as a matter or urgency and put them at the entrance to the site to stop travellers’ vans reappearing,” he said.
Coun Colin Stout (Ind, Brigouse) said Lane Head recreation ground was the first place the travellers came to after leaving Bramston Street.
“They asked me to get some black binbags so they could tidy up afterwards. We have checked the pitch now they have gone and will have to carry out repairs to the football pitch before the season starts in August.”
Coun Ann Martin (Lab, Brighouse) said she believed the same travellers had last been in the area 10 years ago. She spoke to the travellers on Monday after being contacted by a resident.
“Residents were concerned about the situation but accepted my reassurance that we were dealing with it. The travellers were spoken to by council officers and the police.”
Council officers talked to the travellers at Bramston Street and Lane Head and on Tuesday issued them an order to leave the Lane Head site by Wednesday at noon.
The Safer Cleaner Greener team also cleared both sites of rubbish.