Clean up after travellers leave

NAWN 1306116AM1 Tavellers in Hallfield Lane Play area. (1306116AM1)
NAWN 1306116AM1 Tavellers in Hallfield Lane Play area. (1306116AM1)

A Wetherby field and children’s play area has been closed off to the public after travellers who set up an illegal camp left rubbish and human faeces in the area .

Wetherby Town Council was forced to shut off the Mason Field area on Hallfield Lane after rubbish had been dumped by the travelling group overnight on Tuesday.

The group, who arrived at the site last Friday, were believed to be travelling south after visiting the annual Appleby Horse Fair earlier this month.

Yesterday Wetherby Town Council clerk Barbara Ball said the area had been closed off with notices asking residents not to enter the area until it had been cleared.

She said: “Some of the rubbish has been bagged up and a skip has been provided by Leeds City Council but none of the rubbish has been put in the skip.

“The children’s play area is a mess and there has been some damage to seats there.

“We have closed off the area until is is cleaned up for hygiene reasons.

“Areas have been used as a toilet facility, as well as the Hallfield Lane cemetery.

“We hope it will be cleared by this weekend as it is not pleasant at the moment.

“There could be glass in the area and we do not want children to get injured.”

Ms Ball said cleaning contractors for Leeds City Council would remove rubbish from the area, which is owned by Wetherby Town Council.

One resident who contacted the News earlier this week and lives near to the site said he had contacted Leeds City Council’s travellers services department after noticing litter being dumped.

He said: “There is litter everywhere and it looks as though they are using areas of the playing field as a toilet.

“My son likes to play football on the playing field.

“I try to have sympathy with travellers but not when they are leaving it like this.

“It is quite disgusting.”

Speaking at June’s town council meeting on Tuesday, Wetherby mayor and councillor Alan Lamb said access to the site of Mason field would be looked into to prevent travellers using the site illegally in the future.