Travellers are shifted from park
At around midnight on Friday, the family of travellers took over a corner of the fields with approximately seven caravans and a small pony.
The group said they were visiting the area for a family funeral and would be moving on, but by the first morning of their visit a number of complaints had been logged by the police and passed on to the park warden.
Police visited the site on the first day and continued to monitor the situation alongside Swindon Council officers. Now that the group has been moved on, officers will visit the site again to assess any environmental impact left during the visit and take any action necessary.
Coun Cindy Matthews, (Lab, Lydiard and Freshbrook), liaised with police about the issue and said the group had most likely recently been evicted from the town centre before settling at Lydiard.
“I think they were probably the same travellers that were in the town centre just before that and got moved on,” she said.
“They were moved from the town centre shortly before they appeared at Lydiard Park, so it stands to reason that it was probably the same group.
“I imagine this will be welcome to a lot of people. I gather there were quite a few complaints made to the police and it was the police who informed the park warden about it.
“Obviously a lot of people do get quite worried when something like this happens, sometimes a bit unnecessarily in my view. It will come as a relief to many people that they have moved on.”
It is now the responsibility of the council to visit the site and organise any clean-up operation.
A spokesman for Swindon Council said: “Where a traveller encampment is reported on council land, we aim to visit the site within the first full working day.
“During this visit, a council officer will attempt to identify the group and establish its purpose and intentions. In complying with the legal obligations incumbent on all local authorities, the officer will also gather information in regard to the health, education and welfare of the group.
“When the group finally move on from Swindon Borough Council land, a council officer will attend the venue and assess if there has been any environmental impact on the location and if any action appears necessary will report findings to the relevant services.”