Town to spend £20,000 to boost park protection after ‘difficult year’ with ‘trespassing travellers’

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parks protection totton eling
Travellers at Eling Rec in September last year

TOTTON and Eling Town Council is to spend £20,000 to protect its parks and open spaces from trespassers.

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The council agreed the money following a report submitted to its policy and resources committee last month which outlined the plan.

As reported in the A&T, last summer the council was forced to pay thousands to clean up after a series of unauthorised encampments in the town, with asbestos and human waste left at one site.

In August a convoy of caravans moved on to the King George V recreation ground and playing fields in Calmore Road but left two weeks later after an eviction order was gained from Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

Among the rubbish left behind was broken glass, human waste, tree branches and rubble thought to contain asbestos.

Shortly after a group of travellers moved on to the fields at Eling recreation ground, around two miles away.

A report by town clerk Derek Biggs explained that the council had looked into ways to avoid a repeat of such trespassing.

It said: “The council will be aware that 2020 was a particularly difficult year in regards to trespassing travellers.

“We have looked at ways of increasing the physical defences on the recreation grounds to make entry more difficult. The initial estimates show that the works could be completed for under £20,000.”

The report added that CTV would also be installed to help deter trespassers. The money to pay for the works would be released from developers’ contributions held by New Forest District Council.

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