Police and council called to traveller camp in London Colney

PUBLISHED: 14:55 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:10 20 September 2018

Travellers on the grounds of Cotlandswick Leisure Centre, London Colney. Picture: DANNY LOO

Travellers on the grounds of Cotlandswick Leisure Centre, London Colney. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

A group of travellers set up camp behind a leisure centre in London Colney.

Travellers on the grounds of Cotlandswick Leisure Centre, London Colney. Picture: DANNY LOOTravellers on the grounds of Cotlandswick Leisure Centre, London Colney. Picture: DANNY LOO

The travellers pitched around 21 caravans on Thursday behind Cotlandswick Leisure Centre in High Street.

St Albans council’s solicitor Charles Turner said: “Two traveller groups set up an unauthorised camp last Thursday on the Council’s open space at Cotlandswick.

“We immediately began the legal process to remove them and we obtained an order from St Albans Magistrates Court today (Wednesday) instructing them to leave the site. A bailiff is now serving this on the travellers who will then have 24 hours to leave.

“In the meantime, our officers have been talking to the travellers about their responsibilities and the police have also visited the scene. We have a team on stand-by ready to inspect the site after the travellers’ departure and carry out any clearing up that may be necessary.”

Travellers on the grounds of Cotlandswick Leisure Centre, London Colney. Picture: DANNY LOOTravellers on the grounds of Cotlandswick Leisure Centre, London Colney. Picture: DANNY LOO

A Herts Police spokesperson said: “Police are aware of travellers currently in the recreational ground in the High Street, London Colney.

“The local Safer Neighbourhood Team are liaising with both the travellers and the local council in order to monitor the situation.”

London Colney councillor Simon Calder said: “I know there was some disruption at the football game on Saturday. I had a couple of calls from residents who were concerned.

“Last year in London Colney we had five or six incursions, and I don’t know how we’re going to deal with it.”

Travellers on the grounds of Cotlandswick Leisure Centre, London Colney. Picture: DANNY LOOTravellers on the grounds of Cotlandswick Leisure Centre, London Colney. Picture: DANNY LOO

Parish councillor Dreda Gordon said: “There have been travellers on this site before and the district council needs to secure the site and stop this happening again. I’m on London Colney Parish Council and we’ve had similar situations, and we’ve made sure that there are railings up to stop any further incursions onto our land.

“The council were putting in security because there was an important football match at the weekend and they didn’t want any disruption. People were able to come and go despite the 21 caravans being in situ.

“The same group had tried to go into parish council land up at White Horse Lane but fortunately the parish grounds staff parked on the land to block their entrance.”

The travellers left the site on Thursday (September 20) as per the bailiff’s orders.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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