Town council left counting the cost after travellers are moved on from Godmanchester

Travellers moved onto several sites in Godmanchester earlier this month.

Travellers moved onto several sites in Godmanchester earlier this month. - Credit: Archant

Moving on a group of travellers who had set up camp on a recreation area has cost Godmanchester Town Council nearly £4,000.

The cost could have been even more if it had not been for the swift action of the council which reduced the bill for a clean-up after the travellers left and decreased potential damage to the Judith’s Field site, a report issued by the council has said.

A street cleaning team had to disinfect areas contaminated with human and animal waste as well as remove rubbish.

The report said that the town council was being charged £2,501 by the bailiff, £250 by Huntingdonshire District Council and was expecting a further bill for £1,000 from a local farmer who temporarily blocked access to other council-owned open spaces.

It said that on October 3 the travellers were seen entering Judith’s Field by breaking a padlock to remove a bollard and cutting open a bag of shingle which had been put in place after the theft of a second bollard.

An emergency meeting of the town council was called that night after which bailiffs were instructed to serve notice on the travellers and hirers and residents were advised to avoid the area because of reports of dangerous driving, anti-social behaviour and loose dogs

The report said that the following day the council’s other open spaces were checked and a farmer blocked accesses temporarily.

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On October 5 bailiffs went on to the site to remove the encampment and the street cleaning team was called in before the recreation area could be reopened.

The travellers went to the Bridge Place car park at Godmanchester where they were later moved on by Huntingdonshire District Council.