Improvements to the Security of Council Owned Open Spaces

As many of you are aware, travellers set up unauthorised camps on two of the Council’s openspaces, Finlay Way and Cutbridge Meadow last week.  Whilst the Council arranged for evictions and for the areas to be cleaned up afterwards, these events cost in the region of £10,000, plus repair costs.

Clearly, the Council is keen to avoid repeats of these occurrences and the resultant inconvenience and distress caused to residents affected, as well as the not insubstantial costs, but acknowledges that there are no obvious solutions, and that the same solution is not suitable for all areas.  

It was considered that Cutbridge Meadow was secure having installed a bespoke designedgate after travellers used the land in 2018 – but if access is wanted then most deterrents can be overcome with criminal damage - as was the case here when the gate was removed from the post by a towbar on a vehicle.  

Going forward it is important to consider what options are available to prevent repeats of this unauthorised entry, whilst acknowledging that authorised access is required to maintain these areas – grass cutting, tree and hedge cutting as well as play equipment repairs etc. is necessary and requires vehicular access.

As part of the Council’s consideration on how to improve the security of these sites and accepting that simply enclosing areas is not the answer, we would like to ask you, the community, whether you have any ideas / suggestions on how these areascould be secured / redesigned to prevent these events reoccurring.

If you have anyideas, please do pass them on by either responding to the social media post, emailing or coming along to the Parish Garden on Saturday 7th August from 10am to discuss your thoughts with councillors.