Travellers in car park row

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AN illegal encampment of travellers caused havoc this week when 15 vans pitched up in a private company’s car park.

Staff at Intertek locked themselves into their Knowlhill offices for fear the travellers would go inside.

One employee told the Citizen: “There are about 10 to 15 caravans on the site and hordes of kids.

“They are attacking the staff and stealing from them.”

The company paid for private bailiffs to order the vans to move on.

On Tuesday the Citizen visited the car park encampment to speak to the travellers.

One father-of-five, who would not be named, said: “We are about to move on but where else can we go?

“We have to move all over the country spending a couple of days here and a couple of days there because there are no proper sites for us. We’re proper travellers and we don’t want permanent sites. We’d even live in a house rather than go for a permanent site. I was born at the side of the road and that’s the way I want it to be until the end of my life.

“What we need is for the council to build proper temporary sites for people like us. We need places we can just pull into, proper places with water and toilets and stuff we can use.

“It’s the council’s fault, not ours. There are 6,000 travellers in the UK and the councils have only built sites for a quarter of them.

“We don’t mind travelling from place to place but we need proper facilities. We’re human beings – we deserve it.”

The travellers, who get their water from a nearby garage, have around 20 children between them.

“They can’t go to school because we’re always moved on. We teach them to count and to write their names but that’s all. They can’t read.

“They’re not badly behaved; they’re just kids. Whatever we do people complain about us – we’re used to that.

“This will keep happening again and again until the councils build us proper places to go in the UK.”