‘Superb’ council praised over Ilkeston travellers help

Travellers on the football pitch.
Travellers on the football pitch.

The chairman of a junior football club in Ilkeston is full of praise for the authorities after a group of travellers unexpectedly turned up on their land last week.

Mark Frost, from Ilkeston Juniors, said Derbyshire County Council have been ‘absolutely superb’ and both the police and Erewash Borough Council have been helpful as well.

A hired lorry used to remove the rubbish and waste from the ground.

A hired lorry used to remove the rubbish and waste from the ground.

He said the travellers have now moved on - having stayed six days from Wednesday July 13 to Tuesday July 19 - leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.

“The under-8s were training when they came - the children had to run away,” said Mark.

“They got access through the gate by claiming there was an emergency, which wasn’t very nice.

“The police couldn’t do anything when they arrived just in terms of the numbers.”

“But the county council have been absolutely superb, even getting liaison teams on the site to speak to the travellers.”

Later, the county council advised them that, as they were the lease holders of the land, they could pursue a section 61 encampment act eviction.

“So in the end myself and six police officers went round to each caravan handing out eviction notices,” said Mark.

The problem now is how much this is going to cost a club that only makes about £600 a year.

“The clean-up could run into thousands,” says Mark.

“I took refuse sacks around the site after they arrived and luckily they have used them.

“But they have left a load of rubble from where they have dug up people’s drives as well as a load of dog mess and there is also damage to our temporary changing rooms.”