Travellers spark anger after returning to crematorium's car park

Travellers have sparked controversy by returning to the car park of a crematorium in the borough.

Tuesday, 31st October 2017, 7:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:23 pm
A flashback to the original travellers encampment on the car park next to Howe Bridge Crematorium

Several caravans and cars have now formed part of a fresh encampment on land near Howe Bridge Crematorium, near Atherton.

Residents were outraged originally last September when travellers moved onto the site, accusing them of being 'disrespectful' to those attending services at the privately-run site next door.

Council bosses say they had stepped up security surrounding the car park after the last incursion - but engineers have been forced to adapt their initial measures after it was discovered they were hampering hearses arriving at Howe Bridge.

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One resident said: "Families turning up here have enough on their plate without having to deal with this on the car park."

Paul Barton, assistant director of environmental services at Wigan Council said: “We have served an eviction notice to the travellers on Howe Bridge crematorium and if they have not left the site by Thursday, the bailiffs will be instructed to evict them.

"We are disappointed that this location has been targeted again, which is extremely insensitive to grieving families and relative

“We did install some defensive measures and a height barrier following the first encampment. However, the original location of the barrier needed to be changed to accommodate funeral directors accessing the crematorium.

"Further work is underway to include extra fencing. We hope to have this work done as quickly as possible to protect the cemetery in future for our residents.”