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Legal moves begin in bid to remove travellers from Lichfield park

Travellers on land at Shortbutts Park

Travellers on land at Shortbutts Park

Legal moves have begun to have travellers evicted from a Lichfield park.

Caravans and vehicles moved on to Shortbutts Park yesterday (July 24).

A spokesperson for Lichfield District Council said: “The council was informed that Travellers had set up camp at Shortbutts Park at around midday yesterday, and is starting the legal process today to evict them.”

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

79 Comments

  1. Andy macy

    25th July, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Having lived in Lichfield for11 years,I am horrified to see this
    Please I do not want to see you go through the trouble we had down here in Essex.

  2. A Cynical Parody

    25th July, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    I bet they wouldn’t be interested in anything that’s on at the Garrick while they’re here either.

  3. Pips

    25th July, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    I am directly affected by this but am trying to keep an open mind on the situation. However, the park was completely empty last night apart from the travellers. Usually at 7pm there would be dog walkers and children playing. I haven’t been out today so cannot comment on whether people are staying away. This park has been regenerated using thousands and thousands of pounds. I just hope that they leave the park as it was. By the way, I was told by staffs police yesterday that they would be evicted today – this remains to be seen.

  4. Jozef Nakielski

    25th July, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    If i remember rightly Essex was a proper established site that they evicted them from. This caused problems all over the country. This is a local park. If its to have caravans and camping then it should be for everyone not just these few. There isn’t though and therefore they shouldn’t be there.

  5. Chris

    25th July, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    They surely must have removed bollards etc.. to get on there?

  6. Pips

    25th July, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    Lol normal Lichfield resident. Guy at the council not taking calls – only 1 person dealing with this.

  7. BrownhillsBob

    25th July, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Is Daaaaave in?

  8. Pips

    25th July, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Park is empty apart from travellers

  9. johnthemon

    25th July, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    @Normal Lichfield Resident

    Tongue in cheek or not but a typical gorgers comment, I suppose you have nice things to say about blacks and gays etc.

  10. Adam

    25th July, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    I am disgusted with this, i have to look at this out of my apartment window, it is a childrens play park and yesterday when i came home there wer cars driving around on the grass, this is unacceptable!

  11. gayle kendall

    25th July, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    They’re also on the old Hepworths site on Eastern ave…have been since saturday

  12. Sabcat

    25th July, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    We used to call apartments flats. Aspirational and disgusted.

  13. Pips

    25th July, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    Adam – they are driving around now. More people in the park now.

  14. Cynic

    25th July, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    “I was told by staffs police yesterday that they would be evicted today”

    Did the police know where the park is – or did you have to direct them?

  15. Pips

    25th July, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    I’ve just come back from walking my dog and have to say that they are keeping the park very clean. Only problem is that they seem to have some kind of chickens running around which nearly fell into the jaws of my dog!

  16. Pat

    25th July, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Don’t picket or it will not get better !!!!

  17. Lichfeldian

    25th July, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Of all the places to stay… Lichfield, they will soon realise how terrible this place is and move along :) I wouldn’t worry.

  18. Shortbutts Lane resident

    25th July, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    The travellers told the council they were planning to leave this morning. From what I gather the police had no plans to evict them, they said it was a council matter not a police one as they apparantly weren’ t breaking any laws. How that can be the case I have no idea as I’m pretty sure they would have something to say if I drove my car down a private access road, across a public footpath and through a childrens playground. The police said this morning that it is illegal to drive across a footpath but they didn’t have the resources to place anyone there, although they’ve been down a couple of times today. They’ve also advised the council not to block access as it stops them getting out… they dont look like theyre going far at the minute. I don’t object to them using the park as its a public park although the number of them is quite intimidating,, I don’t even have a particular issue with them camping on the field if its temporary (despite the damage theye causing to the fields) but I’m amazed anyone thinks its acceptable to drive through a playground where children and dogs / dog walkers are trying to enjoy the park. You shouldn’t have to look out for 4x4s while pushing your toddler on the swing!!

  19. NotAShortbuttsLaneResident

    25th July, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    Once where the new estate now sits, were even more lovely fields. All those new residents weren’t there hoping those fields would stay sacred.

  20. YeahButNoBut

    25th July, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    The thing is the new estate is populated with tax paying, law abiding residents…and their toilets are plumbed in!!

  21. Pips

    25th July, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    And the sale of the land paid for the park!

  22. Jasmine Wunnava

    25th July, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    I am so annoyed with the council for the comment my dear child made while I was tucking her in bed she told me not to go as the sounds of the gypsies were scaring her I felt pure anger to the core ! I just want them out I know some sort of police officer is reading this ,listen they are ruining the playground ,scaring the children not to mention creating more noise than a two year old girl about to see peppa pig live ! It’s like your being nice to them ,if you don’t show some sort of anger towards them then they will just stay when I was younger we had travellers in our park and we had no legal malarkey all the village told them straight to go away and they did ,30 years later and I’m sure the same treatment will do the trick .I know the council is most likely filled with old rich men who don’t give a ,about our beloved park but we do its a place of joy for the children and you don’t seem to have the guts to save it .Pathetic . I’m with the above but if we all tell them straight that they are not welcome they surtinly won’t feel it . My daughter is scared and so are the council we help you ,you need to help us I have to lock every door and window ,I don’t feel safe .

  23. Thomas price

    25th July, 2013 at 11:51 pm

    Btw council don’t you think it’s time to take your hats of your crumbling heads and let way for someone who knows what to ! I don’t want to hear ,but I will, all your comments on your super job of a removal ,bull ,I want to punch all that dust of your relics or what you may call your faces .do the job or move out the way for someone who knows what to do !

  24. Lichfeldian

    25th July, 2013 at 11:52 pm

    Really small annoying pranks like painting the caravans bright pink or 100’s of people having a massive picnics in the middle of the caravans, or disconnect/break the toilet pump system on the caravan!!!

  25. Some Bloke

    26th July, 2013 at 12:01 am

    Why, Thomas Price, would you be the one who knows what to do? Who elected you then?
    I can understand the concern about anti social behaviour and damage, but the generalisations and comments about “Irish bums” greatly concern me. Sounds a bit fascist to me, and that ended well. How about some tolerance and respect for due process?

  26. U serious

    26th July, 2013 at 12:05 am

    oooh noooo i blame the council.

    How dare the council allow gypsies to enter the land. Why would they allow such actions.

    Please people of Lichfield stop paying council tax. Stop voting…. NO even better stop paying council tax and support the cuts.

    No sorry got that wrong , get the Garrick to sort it because thats what is more important. Anyone realise why you need a council? No don’t be silly , just want to continue the hate… ooops sorry now you want the council I hope the gypsies stay there and make a misery of your lives. Sort it yourself because you are getting what you wanted …

  27. Public Guy

    26th July, 2013 at 12:10 am

    Good you get what you deserve , you do not want the council to act for you. So residents sort it yourself, that ‘s what you want. I mean the council is useless go on, have a go , sort this yourself …. cannot wait to see this

  28. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 12:11 am

    ^^ no one likes you ^^

  29. Why do we bother

    26th July, 2013 at 12:14 am

    Not sure what the issue is? Why is this a council issue? Criminal matters is a police issue is it not?

    Dont blame the council for your own failures in society. Why dont the residents sort out their own mess? AFTER ALLL all comments on here suggest you can all do better. No issue, do it … if you have the balls

  30. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 12:16 am

    ^^No one likes you either^^

  31. Public Guy

    26th July, 2013 at 12:16 am

    oooh licfieldian … Touched a nerve , keep claiming

  32. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Put some gypsies in a field in the middle of no where nobody panics, but put gypsies in a field near a populated area and everybody looses their minds!!
    *insert joker face*

  33. Some Bloke

    26th July, 2013 at 12:24 am

    It isn’t a criminal matter, unless damage is caused.It’s trespass, a civil matter. There are a lot of assumption being made in some of the comments from the sock puppets here.

  34. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 12:29 am

    don’t be stupid, sock puppets can’t talk.

  35. Laura the explorer :)

    26th July, 2013 at 12:34 am

    As a fellow mum I agree with jasmine but not with Tom ,the council should not have to singled down to one person aka the mayor besides its not his fault all his does is approve council plans and open events .He is not some sort of dictator who with a wave of his hand can send a army of Garrick loving lichfielins against the gypsies ;) but people are right the gypsies are quite disgusting for their idea of women .we are not home makers or meat we are female equal of you.My husband was fuming when one young one whistled at me which was such a disgusting thing to do when I was with my husband and two children (who are now too scared to step foot in the park with out me .Gypsies if you are reading this allow me to apologise for Tom and his remark but remind you that we need to live together in this world and sometimes your needs are in the way of others .I do plan on visiting them to ask when they are leaving but not in the tone others have been using .btw public guy if you have no care for our park then why bother don’t try and put out a flame you didn’t light ‘-”

  36. Councils crumbling

    26th July, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Council hurry up please ,I know you probably have never had so much drama before ;) but I’m tired of the kids being upset get them please but in a nice manner but if it comes to it I agree with jasmine we will do the deed . Don’t you realise that this is spreading like wildfire and your the so called blamed party you need them fast because your not much before reputation is going to crumble away with all the gossip .its time to take action ,this is your calling we voted ,we will watch

  37. Jozef Nakielski

    26th July, 2013 at 12:44 am

    Strangely they aren’t breaking any laws.Although I find it hard to believe that they didn’t force entry. It is a civil matter, it is for the owners of the land to move them on. The problem is they’ve got to go somewhere. And no one wants them near them. That’s my gripe with the essex site, it had been there years and suddenly they’re all evicted and pushed into traveling around the country again.
    I couldn’t care less if they built a site near me IF they could be trusted to keep it tidy and keep within the laws.
    As for the kids, why are they scared ? and what of ? maybe you’d help by telling her there’s nothing to worry about.
    driving through a play ground isn’t an offence. I went to newport pagnall carnival recently as its near the gf’s home town and the parking for the field required us to drive straight through the childrens play ground. Felt very wrong driving out as kids were everywhere, i had to drive around them, and I was watched by police who happened to be stalking some dodgy yoofs .

  38. Jozef Nakielski

    26th July, 2013 at 12:45 am

    I hope the council is collecting council tax from them to cover the clean up of rubbish !

  39. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Bravo Laura…. Love the name, the comment was pretty good to :) but so far you have the most sense and see public guy no one actually likes you!! Laura the explorer you are the hero lichfield needs but not the one it deserves. You are lichfields dark knight!

  40. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Jozef, please keep out of adult matters and go to bed.

  41. Laura the explorer :)

    26th July, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Thank you but the real knight is jasmine very inspired to write my own after reading hers ,I know they can be bad with the whistling and all that but they are human but they just have a different culture I’m sure they came from the Essex site and I just realised that they are probably as scared as us I mean how would you feel if you were forced to leave your home .They do however need to understand that the park is the childrens ,the dog walkers ,even the local drunks :) and for them but not as a home .There are not many parks as not many people outside the community trust them. I know that they are out of the blue and they should not be there but that are human
    I would appreciate the council to hurray up the procedure while at the same time helping them find a new area to call home and somewhere which is for them and not in the way of others :)

  42. Shortbutts Lane resident

    26th July, 2013 at 1:29 am

    The police informed us it is an offence to drive over a pedestrian footpath. They suggested if any one sees this they should report it to them and they will act, as did the council who seem to be doing everything they can. Regardless of whether its legal or not, and its not about how near they are, (although I dont particularly enjoy the noise or the view), they are not in a piece of unused land, they are in the field of a childrens playground encroaching on a football pitch. It shows a complete disregard for the safety of everyone in the area, and stops the public using the land for what it is intended. If a child gets run over it will be a criminal matter! And I can understand why the children are scared with a massive group of people taking over the park. How many people would honestly take their children to a park where there are teenagers lounging on the climbing frame or standing on the baby swings. Its intimidating, where ever they are from and particularly for women and children. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  43. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Hmm agreed just one tiny problem… If the police say they will act if we see them driving…. How come they won’t act now they are there? Do the police think the gypsies just spontaneously appeared on the grass without driving on it? Idiots!

  44. Jozef Nakielski

    26th July, 2013 at 1:41 am

    only an offence if it is a path by a highway and covered by the highway code as far as i know. It would come under park bylaws. yes, i imagine cars driving around the field and yoofs on the swings would be scary to kids, never thought about that.

  45. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 1:47 am

    As far as you know? Me thinks that was a Internet search, you don’t just happen to know the laws of road pavement driving…. But yes I agree they definatly deter kids from the park, I mean people say don’t be stereotypical but the kids and adults are deterred from going to the park for those reasons, scary, dirty, etc those travellers need to live up to their names and travel right on outta here!!!!

  46. Shortbutts Lane resident

    26th July, 2013 at 1:50 am

    No idea, makes no sense to me at all, seems they just don’t want to get involved which I can understand to some extent. The guy at the councils more helpful.

  47. Autotweetsucks (Charlie Good)

    26th July, 2013 at 2:02 am

    I think that the park is at serious risk of being developed on, let’s make it a designated traveller site and keep it green (ish).

  48. Laura the explorer :)

    26th July, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Not funny I am paying them a visit in a bit due to what I am hearing about the police . Apparently the police are coming in and out to gather intel why ? All they need to know is when the travellers are leaving and are they bringing any friends .truly tipicle I truly doubt that the police even know how to do the job that I will complete I can’t wait neither can my children

  49. Pips

    26th July, 2013 at 11:44 am

    They have to be gone by Monday – and their chickens!

  50. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Yaaaaay! Let’s celebrate! I know shall we all by caravans and camp for a celebratory weekend in spar field? I think that’s a good idea? Any objections? :)

  51. chris p bacon

    26th July, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    yes they are moving from there but what about the ones on eastern avenue are they going to be moved too?

  52. Laura the explorer :)

    26th July, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I just had a word with one of the gypsies to ask when they were leaving but I got no answer just a lot of swearing :( I do hope they understand what they are doing is wrong for the childrens sake

  53. Lichfeldian

    26th July, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Plus it’d be hilarious!!

  54. Agitatorofpeople

    26th July, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I have an open mind about most things, and if they were tidy, civil and conducted themselves properly then frankly I would not have a problem.
    However we took the kids up to the park last night, there was poo in the kids sand pit, a kid was urinating on the slide, and started shouting at our kids “what you staring at” been very aggressive. Other than that the park was absolutely empty.
    Normally it is packed on a nice evening with kids and parents having a nice time. We use this great facility almost daily, especially as the kids are off school, and regularly meet up with friends and their children and chat with other passers by, a nice place to be part of the community.

    Contacted Police to be told the council were dealing with it, they did not seem overly concerned that they (Travellers)were driving around a public park in a motor vehicle, they are wilfully destroying the park, the Council and the Police need to get up there pronto and get them out before the place is totally trashed and unusable. If it makes any difference LDC I for one would be more than willing to muck in and sort the place out once the travellers have buggered off.

    By the way, I dont think the Gypsie/Irish/Pikey type stereotypes and bad mouthing are particularly helpful, it just reinforces their case about been a persecuted minority blah blah etc instead of getting off their own arses to sort out their own problems.

  55. OldMan

    26th July, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Has anyone checked if the vehicles have tax/insur? – It is easy to check these days and if they do not the police MIGHT take action!

  56. Pips

    26th July, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    I think the way it has handled has been a disgrace. Has anyone heard of section 61? I think the police could have served notice straight away?

  57. OldMan

    26th July, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    Section ref to above – If the unauthorised campers fail to leave by the date and time specified by the police officer, or return to that location within three months of the direction, they are then committing an offence and liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or a fine not exceeding £2,500. Further, if a direction issued under Section 61 is contravened, a police officer may then seize and remove the vehicles under Section 62 of the CJPOA. Vehicles would be impounded in an appropriate police facility with a fee payable for their return.

    The cash/fine would be nice to pay for the clean up/repairs!

  58. OldMan

    26th July, 2013 at 3:45 pm

    “I think the way it has handled has been a disgrace.”
    But not a surprise.

  59. Bert S

    26th July, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Criminal Offences are being committed so the police should act to prevent such offences.

    Section 34 Road Traffic Act 1988

    Prohibition of driving mechanically propelled vehicles elsewhere than on roads.

    (1)Subject to the provisions of this section, if without lawful authority a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle—
    (a)on to or upon any common land, moorland or land of any other description, not being land forming part of a road, or
    (b)on any road being a footpath, bridleway or restricted byway,he is guilty of an offence.

  60. JCJ

    26th July, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    The way I see it is if we were to stop and set up camp on the park we move when the police tell us to. They say you cant evict us without the paperwork knowing it takes a while to arrive and by that time they are off. leaving destruction in their wake.

  61. snoop doggy dog .com

    26th July, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Well I’ve just walked my dog over the park with my daughter… and they have put all there rubbish in bin bags… let’s hope they keep that up until they move on.

  62. snoop doggy dog .com

    27th July, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Well folks I’ve just walked my dog this morning to find three more carvans and tipper trucks have turned up… looks like they are staying for a while now….

  63. spongecake bob

    27th July, 2013 at 8:51 am

    There are more camped on wasteland near Trent valley station by Tipper.

  64. Mark

    27th July, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Walked a friend home last night at 11.30pm and good job I did. Two blokes reeking of booze laid on the grass by the garages argue top end of the park, not nice for a woman to walk past on her own. Then this morning someone knocked on the door begging for food?

  65. Lichfieldnewbie

    27th July, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Woke up this morning and another caravan has joined them overnight. This does worry me, the more that come along the more chance of damage to the park and disturbance. I already have on my way back from work crossing the park had a van bomb out across the path… Taking no consideration to any dogs off the lead or children playing. Unfortunately, due to the procedures the council have to follow, I think they will be there for another couple of weeks! It will take the council longer as they have young children, so the council have to take their welfare into account.

  66. Pete

    27th July, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Also had some odd bloke knocking on the door this morning begging for food? – Very odd, called to notify the police however they had already been out to investigate from another call and apparently the bloke had no connection to the travellers!
    The worry here is the longer they stay the more are likely to arrive! Would be nice to be given more firm answers on timescales for removal!!

  67. Laura the explorer :)

    27th July, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    This is truly unacceptable I walked past the playground to hear children cheering I thought for a second that children had returned but no they were young gypsies dog fighting I swear that’s illegal !

  68. Chris

    27th July, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Just drove past to have a look, and boy, it looks a lot busier than the photo at the top of the article :(

  69. suzy

    27th July, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I wonder what the Police Commissioner is intending to do about this?

  70. Cllr Steve Norman

    27th July, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Just some observations.
    If it was illegal to drive over a public footpath then all those drivers who park on footpaths would be committing an offence – and certainly those who drive over paths to access their property when they do not have a dropped kerb. However every time councillors raise this with the latest Police Inspector appointed to your patch they point out that it is not an offence (despite the contradiction in the quote from the Highway Code). As the owner of the park (LDC) does not have planning permission for a caravan site so they have to take action to remove them. Although LDC itself would not have had the extra powers under the 1968 Caravan Sites Act (because it has refused to provide a legal site for travellers) it was Michael Howard, as Environment Minister at the time, who repealed the Act making it more difficult for councils to take action. The Park is in St John’s Ward and local residents ought to contact their local district councillors to find out what action is being taken.

  71. Pips

    27th July, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Is that an excuse for doing nothing? Contacted council and police to no avail. Ok, losing patience now. Law abiding, council tax paying resident who cannot take their child to the park or walk their dog on the park that the development of houses paid for. Getting quite cross – or is that the wine?! Time to get rid. Lichfield council – get a spine!!

  72. Insider

    27th July, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    More have arrived, and another batch will arrive tomorrow. Your council are cutting back the staff, so strange that Cllr Norman say’s contact your local councillor , who will need to contact local council staff who no longer assist . This is the thin edge of the cuts. So you slag the local council staff and you get what you ask for.

    So do yourselves a favour, you don’t want council staff, so now here is the test, people power what you going to do now? Nobody at council exists to help, its down to you. You know whats best. You asked to get rid of council staff and you have got what you want. Now solve it yourself..but do us a favour dont bleed your hearts , dont blame anyone else. YOUR to blame. Enuff Said

  73. Your Boss Is Reading

    28th July, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    If I were a known LDC employee, posting as above, I’d be studying my Contract of Employment very closely. I assume all IP addresses are logged here…

  74. Happy

    28th July, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Sunday 8.30pm
    They have gone.
    Just watched them leave from my bedroom window then had a walk round onto the field.
    All they have left are a few binbags piled against the trees. PHEW!!! I am one happy resident :-)

  75. Happy

    28th July, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    which, by the way, corresponds with the information that the police had yesterday, that they were attending a wedding in the area this weekend but would move on afterwards.

  76. Happy

    28th July, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Yes, the police told me that yesterday too, but I wasn’t convinced until I saw it with my own eyes :-)

  77. YourBossIsWatching

    28th July, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    I see ‘Insider’ had the inside track again – “more arriving tomorrow”. Time to step back from the keyboard mate.

  78. bob a job

    29th July, 2013 at 1:04 am

    6 caravans have arrived in Armitage today anyone know when the wedding is they claim to be here for?

  79. Pete

    29th July, 2013 at 9:12 am

    I hope the council will now put up some more robust barriers to stop this happening again!!