ANGRY Shirley residents are calling for swift action to remove a group of travellers who have parked their caravans on the Palmers Rough Recreation Ground and Nature Reserve.
The travellers parked up their five caravans on Sunday morning (April 13) – using stealth tactics and the knowledge nobody is available at the Council on weekends to issue stop notices preventing them from setting up camp.
And in doing so they have churned up the grass on the field and left residents not wanting to use the park and play area.
“I don’t understand how they can just turn up wherever they want and ruin the area,” said one outraged resident who did not wish to be named.
“We keep reading about all these permanent pitches Solihull Council is creating for the travelling community, so why are they still parking their caravans illegally on land that is there for the local residents to use?
“Rightly or wrongly, nobody wants to use the park now they are there – we want them moved on as quickly as possible before they make our park their home.”
Trevor Eames, Shirley resident and secretary of the Solihull Ratepayers’ Association, said the organisation was demanding swift action from Solihull Council to remove the travellers and would also be demanding work to prevent a repeat in the future.
He added: “Access to the area is more effectively restricted by barriers at other access points and once these caravans are removed we would request that an additional barrier is provided off the Northbrook and Jacey Clinic medical practices car park, which is where they have accessed the site.”
Mr Eames added that angry residents had contacted Solihull Police who indicated there is nothing they can do as it is a civil matter for the landowner – Solihull Council.
A Council spokesperson said the authority has to carry out assessments of who is on site and any welfare needs of children and adults before it can decide upon a course of action and may also need health visitor or children’s services visits before it can proceed with any formal action.
They added: “We will try to achieve vacation of the site through voluntary agreement if at all possible and we will be attempting to negotiate this.
“If we have to go to court we will need to demonstrate that we have been reasonable and allowed a temporary period of toleration.”