Travellers facing court move

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SECURITY is being stepped up a Wigan park after a group of travellers moved on - just a few days after a court notice removed another group.

The latest caravans have been given 48 hours to leave Walmsley Park in Ince after being served with a court order yesterday.

On Friday Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust, which manages the land on behalf of the council, served a notice on the first group of travellers and they left the next day.

But by Sunday another group had replaced the first group forcing WLCT to go to court again, which it did on Monday, to secure a further order.

That gives the group 48 hours to vacate the area or be forcibly removed by police.

In recent weeks groups of travellers have set themselves up on three different pieces of land across the borough, including land on Martland Mill and playing fields on Robin Park.

The public was outraged by the terrible mess left behind by the group on Robin Park, which included mounds of rubbish, a broken TV set and human excrement.

The land on Robin Park belongs to Wigan Council, which meant that the clean-up of the area was at the cost of the taxpayer.

And police and bailiffs had to be drafted in to remove the group from land owned By Greater Manchester’s Pension Trust on Challenge Way, Martland Mill.

WLCT has said that it will be looking to secure the site further once the travellers have moved on to ensure they cannot return to this particular piece of land.

A spokesman for the Trust said: “The first notice was served to the group on Friday which gives them two days to move on or make a representation in court, and they chose to move.

“After learning the land had been re-occupied by another group we then went to court on Monday to secure a notice of possession which was served on the group yesterday, giving them 48 hours to move on.

“After the group has left the land we will be putting in enhanced security measures to stop this happening again in the future.”

Wigan Council has one designated site - at Bickershaw - for travellers.

However it needs upgrading and as the Government no longer requires each local authority to keep a site, it is looking to privatise it, possibly by asking travellers to take over.