I CAME back from the peace of Northumberland to find a huge row raging in the constituency with the council considering a transit site for travellers off Birchwood Way.

This, rightly, caused anger among many people.

People need to understand that the groups of travellers we have had in north Warrington recently have caused real problems.

Last year, people in Culcheth and Croft suffered from their aggression.

This year, the people of Bruche have experienced problems and residents of Birchwood have seen damage to the Forest Park, people defecating and urinating in public, damage to property and general anti-social behaviour.

This kind of behaviour would not be acceptable from anyone living in a settled community so there is no reason we should accept it from anyone else.

The Birchwood Way site is near to local houses, a school, a youth shelter and is on the route in to a business park where we want to encourage more firms to locate.

To raise these objections is not racist.

They are statements of fact and I will not let the name-calling of my constituents go unchallenged especially when it comes from people who have no experience of what we have had to put up with.

So let’s consider the problem sensibly.

Having a transit site which is properly run would make it much easier to move people on when they camp in an unauthorised place.

I understand that the council has now ruled out the Birchwood Way site.

I’m glad it has done so because it is totally unsuitable.

If the council now wishes to provide a site let it look for an area away from houses where there cannot be disruption to neighbours and tell us how it plans to staff and run such a site to ensure that it is well-managed.

Above all, it has to be prepared to take local people into their confidence and discuss the issue properly.

Only a site that has community consent will be able to operate properly and peacefully, for everyone.

Then we might be able to get rid of the problems caused by illegal camping which my constituents have had to suffer for too long.