Travellers could face ban from Preston parks

Travellers on Moor Park, Preston, in June this year

Travellers on Moor Park, Preston, in June this year

A ban could be brought in preventing travellers from pitching up on sites in Preston.

Council bosses are looking into the possibility of an injunction stopping unauthorised encampments on city parks.

It comes after caravans arrived at sites around Preston this summer, including on Ribbleton Park and the Port Way park and ride car park.

Speaking at Thursday’s full council meeting, Coun David Borrow raised the issue of travellers on Moor Park.

He said: “Travellers have camped on Moor Park twice this summer and caused difficulties and problems.

“While our officers have moved quickly, and I’m not unsympathetic to the problems travellers have, it would be easier to cope if they didn’t leave litter for our staff to move.”

Council leader Peter Rankin said: “We are looking to see if we can instigate some sort of blanket action because at the moment our officers, certainly for the past two-to-three weeks, have been run ragged at all hours of the day and night to sites that travellers have gone to.

“It is pretty bad when they haul up in our parks and interfere with activities that are going on and create a lot of rubbish as well.”

In Blackpool, the council has secured a High Court injunction protecting seven parcels of land from illegal encampments.

Coun Rankin said: “We are looking to the example of Blackpool to see whether we can take much the same sort of blanket action, so we wont have to take legal action every time travellers arrive in our parks.

“We have been looking at that and I hope we will have some sort of resolution.”

He said any injunction would apply mainly to Preston’s parks, and said it would save work of officers, and save money.