'Act to stop the travellers'

PUBLISHED: 18:42 02 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:40 24 May 2010

COMMUNITY safety chiefs are to ask councillors to look at ways to reduce the risk of further traveller encampments in Nailsea. Nailsea Local Action Team (LAT) is to write to the town council asking it what can be done to improve security at public open sp

COMMUNITY safety chiefs are to ask councillors to look at ways to reduce the risk of further traveller encampments in Nailsea.Nailsea Local Action Team (LAT) is to write to the town council asking it what can be done to improve security at public open spaces in the area to prevent future encampments.The concern comes after a large group of travellers set up camp on the park at The Elms at Lodge Lane earlier this month.The group stayed for 10 days, leaving a trail of destruction and mess behind them.Trees had been damaged, litter strewn across the park and human faeces smeared across the play area and footpaths.Nailsea LAT chairman John Hunter said: "The town has now been registered by travellers. We now need to look at what measures can be put in place to reduce the risk of further encampments on public open spaces in Nailsea."We are equally as vulnerable as other towns, but in Clevedon action has been taken to install boulders at the entrance to one of its sports fields which has previously been used by travellers."The impact of travellers is costly, especially on the council which had to spend thousands of pounds clearing up after them."Nailsea LAT wrote to the town council in November last year asking it to consider whether the town's public areas - specifically the millennium park - were under threat from a traveller invasion.The town council passed the LAT's concerns onto North Somerset Council who said action would only be taken if travellers arrived in the town.North Somerset Council spokesman Zoe Briffitt said the authority had taken steps to prevent further encampments in the town.Mrs Briffitt said: "At the Lodge Lane site there is a five bar gate at the site which is already locked at night."We are going to upgrade the locks on this gate and make them more tamper resistant."We are also going to install lockable bollards behind the gate during the next four to six weeks and will be looking at improvements to the pedestrian gates too as some of them are wide enough for a vehicle to get through."At the Millennium Park the five bar gate at the Station Road entrance is going to be replaced with two pillars and two gates and will be locked all the time.

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