I am incredibly pleased to see that the Travellers have finally moved on from Park Road in Elland. Unfortunately, however, they have left a trail of destruction behind them and, once again, it is the taxpayer that must pay to clear it up.
Yet despite this, Calderdale Council continue to dither. It is now time for action. The Council need to secure the land quickly. On Park Road alone, this is the second time in two months it was taken over by those seeking to set up unauthorised encampments, stopping local people from accessing and enjoying the park during the height of summer, when it should be at its most popular.
It's not just this land. Our parks and public spaces in Hipperholme & Lightcliffe, Brighouse, Rastrick, Elland and Ripponden have seen regular take-overs from Travellers. These events are becoming all too familiar to Calder Valley residents.
It costs the taxpayer an absolute fortune in eviction and clean-up costs every single time encampments take over public land. It cannot be right that good, hard-working people are forced to pay for this. The Council must start seriously looking at how to protect our parks and green spaces from those seeking to set up unauthorised encampments.
I will be joining local Conservative Councillors and campaigning to protect our local parks and green spaces from further encampments so families can continue to access and enjoy these public places.
Parks are places for us all to enjoy. From a nice stroll in the evening air, to playing catch with your children or football with your friends. These places are for the whole community and it is time the Council stop using expensive, slow and inefficient ways to move Travellers on once they have set up camp, and start looking at cost effective preventative measures to protect our public spaces.