by Craig Martin on 11 July, 2020
An ongoing problem of members of the Gypsy, Traveller, and Roma community staying overnight on the field opposite the BP garage occurred again during the lockdown. Many members of the community enjoy walking their dogs and using the field for exercise but this is spoiled by the rubbish and broken glass left behind. Despite previous barriers being put in place, entry was forced into the field, along with trees being cut back. This led to the site being targeted by fly-tippers who could now gain easy access to the field.
I have been liaising with the angling club, who use the area to access the river, and Durham County Council to find a more permanent solution. I’ve offered to fund any project out of my neighbourhood budget so that the field can be enjoyed by everyone and no further damage can be done.
The Council were very proactive in clearing up the rubbish and installing a new gate along with concrete bollards to block vehicles accessing the field. Although regrettably, they did not consult the groups that need access to the area, meaning that they were locked out. Durham County Council has now moved the gate again to meet the needs of these groups. Hopefully, the added concreted protections will prevent fly-tipping or unauthorised encampments occurring in the future.Leave a comment