Council moves to evict travellers from site

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COUNCIL bosses are trying to evict travellers from land near a Bury St Edmunds housing estate.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council is working with police to clear the site, opposite the Ramada Hotel, in Symonds Road, ‘as speedily as possible’.

However, the travellers say they need somewhere to stay and their presence isn’t causing any harm.

A spokeswoman for the authority said a lock had been cropped and bollards removed to gain access to the land and the damage had been reported to the police.

The travellers say the site was open and damage caused before they arrived.

The council spokeswoman said: “We were alerted on Monday that a number of caravans had gained entry to the council-owned land.

“Officers visited the site and told those present that camping on public open space was not permitted and that all necessary steps are being taken to evict them as swiftly as possible.

“A regular check is being kept on the site and bin bags have been delivered with arrangements for daily collection. “We are working with the police and the traveller welfare officer to clear the site as speedily as possible.”

In an attempt to ‘prevent any potential community tension in the area’, Suffolk Police are working with the travellers and nearby residents.

Sgt Davy Hill said: “We will be liaising with St Edmundsbury Borough Council in the coming days as the site is examined and a decision is made regarding what is best for the community in the long-term. We are aware of a criminal damage incident in Symonds Road and officers will be making enquiries to identify offenders.”

Talking to the Bury Free Press, one traveller said: “We need somewhere to go. We need some ground or site we can rent for a week or two. All the kids go to school in Bury.”

Another man highlighted the misconceptions about travellers.

He said: “If one traveller does something wrong then automatically we’re all the same. If people leave us alone we leave them alone.

“All we want is a peaceful life to rear our kids.”