starts as travellers leave Burnham-On-Sea's BASC Ground
group of more than 30 travellers camped at Burnham-On-Sea's BASC
sports ground finally left the site last night (Tuesday) when
police served notice on them.
notice to leave was served on the group under Section 61 of the
Criminal Justice Act at 5pm by armed Police officers, and by 6.30pm
the group had left the site.
told Burnham-On-Sea.com the travellers were escorted by Police
to Edithmead, then onto the M5 northbound, and they were last
seen passing Weston.
of rubbish, dogs mess and other waste were left behind, strewn
across the fields, and metal bollards for the car boot sales were
damaged at a cost of around £1,000. A community clean-up
operation is planned for tomorrow.
Lewis, BASC Chairman, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "I am very
relieved that they have gone. It has been a very stressful six
has been a frustrating process to get the notice served by the
Police to get them moved, but we are grateful to the local beat
officers who always reacted quickly when needed during incidents
over the past week."
would also like to thank the whole community for their support
by logging incidents caused by the travellers with the Police,
which helped to provide enough evidence to get the order served."
community clean-up session will be held on Thursday evening at
6pm when all are welcome to come down and give us a helping hand
in getting the site returned back to normal."
toilets have been left in a dire state and there is lots of rubbish,
from gas cylinders to nappies and dogs mess, which will all have
to be taken away."
are concerned that the playing field surfaces may have been damaged
too and we'll be carefully checking them over during the next
few days to ensure they are safe to use again."
added: "We are already reviewing security at the site but
it's not just as simple as putting a lock on a gate - there are
lots of groups who use the BASC ground with individual needs that
all need to access."
would add that we need a consolidated approach to dealing with
travellers in Burnham to ensure this does not keep happening.
It's a common occurrence in the summer months which needs to be
addressed - and we will be a part of the discussion going forward."
travellers had been parked on the grassed area near the entrance
to the playing fields from Wednesday June 8th until Tuesday June
14th, and police said there had been a "crime increase"
in the area.
Inspector Lisa Simpson, Local Policing Commander for Somerset
West, told Burnham-On-Sea.com on Tuesday: "We are aware of
the concerns of residents, and I want to reassure them that we
are working with the private landowners to deal with this complex
issue appropriately, proportionately and sensitively. It is important
that we endeavour to balance need of landowners, local residents
and the travelling community to ensure that this can be resolved
to the satisfaction of all."
"I want to assure the community in Burnham that we do take
the concerns of residents seriously. We must always ensure that
we are acting legally and proportionately in our response to any
situation and this requires us to undertake work that might sometimes
take time or not be always be publically visible. We must also
take into consideration important factors including longer-term
force cancellation of car boot sale at Burnham sports ground