Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Travellers Try Manor Park

The extended family of Irish Travellers who graced the Worcester Park Tavern with their presence (and their rubbish) back in April has had a go at moving to Manor Park this evening (Tuesday - now technically yesterday evening). The only thing is that the police managed to get there before they could get all their caravans in and so while four caravans have set up house at the back of the park, the others were turned away at the gate by the police.

Council officers from the London Borough of Kingston upon Thames, in whose area the park is, have now taken over guarding the entrance to the park in Malden Road but there is still a police presence within the park grounds.

The travellers told the blog that people should respect their privacy and that it was their custom to live this way and we should not object to them staying there. They were generally friendly in a slightly menacing sort of way. I couldn’t help being glad the police weren’t too far away!

Update (28th July)

You may have read it in the Kingston Guardian already but just in case you haven’t, the travellers in Manor Park were moved on. They were escorted out of the park and out of Kingston borough by police at around 11pm on Thursday evening (25th July) using section 61 powers.

The owners of the Hawthorne Woods attached to the park and who have flattened the area, apparently for allotments, are being blamed for letting them in to begin with because they apparently removed a council fence allowing the travellers to drive their caravans into a public park. The council is considering suing the owners. 

5 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

Marilyn said...

I am Sure no one wants to invade the travellers privacy and want to respect the way they live,, Thats Fine but it should be done in Designated Areas, not jut willy nilly in Places The Travellers take a Fancy to,, They also have to respect our way of lives, we live by Rules as Should they.

J said...

Lock them all up.

Barry Cullum said...

Marilyn. In a perfect world I would concur with all you’ve said and more. But we don’t live in a perfect world and, with travellers, we’re dealing with far from perfect people. I know, because I got to know some of them once, and it was a truly uncomfortable experience. Their attitude to people not of their kind is totally obnoxious … that’s most of us….and I have the feeling that if I’d said one word out of place, I wouldn’t be writing this now.
I notice you’ve used the word “respect.” Respect isn’t even a word in their dictionary and they’d laugh if they’d read what you’ve written, and they wouldn’t respect one word of it. They’d be stupid if they didn’t know we detest them, but they are far from stupid and they couldn’t care one jot.
In contradiction to your first sentence: NO I don’t want to respect their privacy, because they care damn-all about yours and mine, and NO I don’t want to respect the way they live. They contribute less than nothing to this country, pay no income tax, and leave a mess wherever they go.
Their regard for the laws of this country is non-existent, although they sure know how to use them when in benefits them. Believe it or not, the presence of 4 of their vehicles and caravans in Manor Park is quite legal, which is why the council will have to go through a legal process to get them removed. Stupid and unfair on us?. You bet it is, but that is the law of the land and they know it very well. Just you try plonking a car and trailer in Manor Park and see how long you last…half a day if you’re lucky. One law for them and one law for us?. Not quite, but neither you or I know how to use the law to flout the law.
You suggest “designated areas” . Oh no! You give these people an inch and they’ll grab a light-year. They do have a couple of designated areas locally that I know of. One is at the end of Cox Lane off Ruxley Lane, where they have erected a village of ramshackle breeze block huts. You’re quite free to walk through it, but I wouldn’t advise you to. I did once and wished I never had! Also you may recall the Dale Farm affair last year in Essex where they lived in illegally built huts. What a bag of worms that turned out to be, and it cost the Essex taxpayer years and millions to get them out. Nowadays that mob are living just 100 yards down the road and the Dale Farm site looks like a bomb had hit it.

So what do we do about the problem?.. I DON’T KNOW. But I didn’t get myself into a position where it’s my responsibility, and neither did you so I can sympathize with all of your comments. Something should be done, and you and I pay, through our taxes, for people who have put themselves forward to deal with these problems quickly and efficiently. The only problem I can see is that they are not doing it.
I have a feeling you’d agree with me that I want to see the authorities come down hard on these people and hit them where it hurts. Seize and crush their untaxed vehicles, stop any benefits they get and make them pay income tax. And keep on coming down hard on them until they put that little word “respect” into their dictionary and learn what it means.
I’ve no objection if they want to be travellers… I hate that word, it masks the fact that most of them are nothing more than scroungers…. and toddle around the country with no fixed abode. But they’ve got to be made to do it in a way that doesn’t irritate the majority of us whenever they turn up.

But of course we don’t live in a perfect world………

Barry Cullum said...

Very pleased, but also very surprised that they have been moved on so quickly. I wonder what happened to those section 61 powers when they were making a pain of themselves by the closed down Worcester Tavern.
No doubt Kingston Council are very happy to have unloaded them..... to irritate the residents of another borough............

guest said...

I do hope the council recover the entire costs of this operation from the owners of the Hawthorne woods.

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