Travellers descend on Wigan St Pats

Travellers at Clarington Grove, next to St Patrick's ARLFC
Travellers at Clarington Grove, next to St Patrick's ARLFC

TRAVELLERS have parked up at the home of one of Wigan’s top amateur rugby league clubs.

Around 20 caravans arrived on Monday on the car park at the bottom of Clarington Grove, next to the Wigan St Pats clubhouse.

The land, which is leased to the club by the Council, is used as a car park for the tarmac training pitch.

The club’s under-13 side are due to train there tonight (Wednesday) with various other sides using it throughout the week, including the first team.

Joe Charnock, club secretary at St Pats, said: “It’s a major upset for the club as we use it for a training area.

“Any rubbish they leave will have to be cleaned up by us or the council and it isn’t fair.

“We’ve wanted to put a barrier up in the past and open and lock it every night to prevent problems such as this but for one reason or another we haven’t been able to.”

Wigan Council has said that it is doing its best to ensure the travellers are moved on as soon as possible.

Deputy Leader David Molyneux, who is also a local councillor in that area, said: “It has been brought to my attention from some of the members of public.

“Officers are dealing with it at the moment and we plan to move the group on as quickly as possible.”

According to the Council’s website: “Where travellers commence occupation of land under council ownership the council’s Planning Enforcement Team will investigate and implement the appropriate course of action dependent on factors such as the location of the encampment and the numbers of travellers occupying the land.

“Court proceedings to remove travellers from council owned land would normally take 10 to 14 days.”