ONCE again our town has suffered from the annual plague of travellers, both in Woolston Park, Peel Hall Park and I suspect other areas.
The same thing happened in Penrith, Cumbria a few weeks ago when travellers occupied a field, presumably after their usual tactic of breaking a lock on a maintenance gate. The reaction from the local authority was, however, very different from the laid-back approach of Warrington Borough Council which would probably only sit up and take notice if caravans appeared on the Town Hall lawn.
In Penrith the travellers arrived at around 8pm on the Friday, another common tactic when they believe that council officers will be off for the weekend.
However, as soon as residents alerted Eden District Council, they went into action. A police car was stationed at the entrance to the field on Saturday morning to prevent more travellers arriving and the council issued a notice to leave the field by 1pm.
That deadline was not met so police intervened and under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 agreed a time for the travellers to leave at 7pm.
The result was that all of the caravans and motor homes were escorted from the site by the police at 6.30pm on the Saturday, less than 24 hours after they arrived.
I would suggest that there is a big lesson to be learned by our own council and Cheshire Police and that they contact their counterparts in Cumbria and adopt their very successful tactics.
KEVIN PRICE Woolston