Travellers move on to AEK-BOCO playing fields in Kingswood

Travellers moved onto the playing fields opposite Kingswood fire station late last night.

The site in Tenniscourt Road is owned by South Gloucestershire Council but the pitches are used by AEK-BOCO Football Club.

Earlier this week there was an unauthorised encampment at the King George V Playing Fields in Downend and one has also been reported on the Green in Iron Acton.

Following a review of South Gloucestershire’s gypsy and traveller policy, the council has improved the way it communicates what it is doing about the unauthorised encampments which occur annually. Initial notification of a newly arrived encampment is now given to the local MP, local councillors, the clerk to the local town or parish council, the police, council’s corporate contact centre and press office.

A dedicated page on the council’s website also gives daily updates on the status of sites affected.

Unauthorised site are visited daily by the council’s Corporate Traveller Services Unit (CTSU) until its removal, whether voluntarily or via the bailiff.

The website says the Tenniscourt Road encampment was reported this morning. There are currently nine caravans and associated vehicles on the football pitches in Tenniscourt Road and the site is being monitored by the police and CTSU. Police have confirmed the site doesn’t meet the threshold for them to exercise powers under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994.

The travellers are understood to be en route to the Appleby Horse Fair in Yorkshire which begins next Thursday and are they expected to depart on Monday.

The bund

In previous years the area of Siston Common in front of The Horseshoe pub, a few hundred metres from the Tenniscourt Road fields, has been a favourite place for travellers, which has led to complaints about noise, disturbance, intimidation and the costly clear-up operations.

But the bund commissioned by Siston Parish Council and erected around the green space last year to deter incursions appears to be doing its job.

Meanwhile at Iron Acton, South Glos Council says it has arranged for any refuse to be collected and the site will continue to be monitored. As landowner of the Green, Iron Acton Parish Council is managing the encampment with support from the CTSU. Notices requiring removal of two caravans have been served.