Travellers on Chesterfield playing fields served with eviction notice as taxpayers face clean-up bill

Travellers who set up camp on playing fields near Chesterfield have been ordered to leave.

Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 8:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th July 2021, 8:16 am

The Travellers have been at the fields on North Side, Tupton, since Sunday – and a number of concerns have been raised about the situation.

On Tuesday afternoon, Liberal Democrat Councillor David Hancock, who serves Tupton on North East Derbyshire District Council (NEDDC), said: “Tupton Parish Council’s bailiffs have now served the Travellers with a legal eviction notice.

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The Travellers in Tupton.

“They will be returning within 48 hours to enforce that – which should see the grounds cleared by Thursday.

“A clean-up team will be going on site to clear any rubbish and environmental waste once they’ve moved on. Depending on timescales, that could be Friday.

“Obviously times and dates can shift with little notice – so may be subject to change in either direction.”

It is understood the local rugby club is hoping to host a memorial game on the playing fields on Sunday.

Coun Ross Shipman, leader of the Liberal Democrats on NEDDC, raised concerns about how NEDDC and Derbyshire Constabulary had responded to the incident.

He said taxpayers would pick up the bill for damage and mess left at the playing fields.

“We are working on ways to make the site more secure going forward,” he added.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “We are aware that a group of Travellers has moved on to land at Tupton and that the council is using the powers available to it to move the group on.

“The force has powers to forcibly remove anyone trespassing on land under Section 61 but certain aggravating factors have to be met to allow us to use this legislation.

“Partner organisations must work together to consider the best options and make sure the rights are balanced for all parties, including the Travellers, ensuring a proportionate, legal and necessary response.”

A spokesperson for NEDDC said: “The council is supporting partner organisations and working with the Travellers to resolve the situation at Tupton.

“We have provided waste bags as ways to reduce any impact on the site and will work together to ensure a safe and proper outcome.”

On our Facebook page, some people have defended the Travellers – with one woman saying ‘stop judging and show kindness’.

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