Concern after Derbyshire council provides Travellers with 'large toilet'

A politician has raised concerns after Travellers set up camp in Bakewell.

Thursday, 29th March 2018, 4:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th March 2018, 5:01 pm
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Councillor Judith Twigg, who represents Bakewell on Derbyshire County Council, said residents felt intimidated by the Travellers who are currently at the town's Agricultural Business Centre (ABC).

She has also written to the chief executive of Derbyshire Dales District Council after the authority provided the Travellers with a toilet.

Conservative Coun Twigg said: "I have been contacted by constituents regarding the Travellers and there are always problems experienced by people who live on Wyebank Grove which is just across the road.

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"One of the complainants is a gentleman who keeps a shop.

"Travellers have been in the shop and harassed his wife.

"I suggested they should contact the police but they are frightened to do this.

"Council tax bills have recently been sent out and residents are asking how the district council can justify provision of a large toilet for the Travellers," she added.

A district council spokesman said: "The district council is aware of the Travellers encampment on land at the ABC in Bakewell which is owned by Bakewell Showground.

"As the landowners it is their responsibility for taking action to remove the Travellers and we will always work with the showground to support them in any action they wish to take.

"The district council has legal responsibilities regarding the welfare needs of the Travellers and we have provided a disabled access portable toilet to meet the specific needs of a disabled lady on site who is unable to walk to the public toilets.

"This is not to signify that the encampment is 'authorised' but to help manage it while it is there and to deal with a very real health issue.

"The unit should help to mean that we can support basic human dignity in the particular circumstances of this encampment and help to protect public health."

Janet Bailey, manager of Bakewell Showground, said the organisation could not currently afford to pay for legal proceedings to remove the Travellers.

She added: "We're extremely short of money at the moment - we're fighting for survival and budgeting very carefully.

"It is a very concerning and difficult situation."