Families from the travelling community, who unexpectedly made Ruddington their home recently, have now officially been told to leave. Ruddington Parish Council (RPC) says an eviction notice was served upon the travellers today by the legal services firm it has employed to handle this matter.
As we reported last week, a procession of caravans and vehicles rolled onto Sellors’ Recreation Ground off Wilford Road on Thursday teatime (5th July) after the intruders simply lifted the access gate (right) off its hinges to let themselves in! This came as quite a shock to adjacent householders and to a local fitness group who’d planned to use the field for their activities at the time. Ironically, this new metal gate had quite recently replaced a more traditional wooden one in order to increase the security of the site!
Although the travellers’ sudden arrival caused the expected village social media storm, it seems our visitors have been relatively quiet and caused little trouble or damage so far. Nevertheless it appears local dog walkers, teenagers who might normally have a kick-about on the pitch, and parents with children have largely been put off using the recreational facilities. Although large bags of rubbish have been left around the site, RPC has told RUDDINGTON.info that the travellers have been supplied with these refuse sacks and have been told where to leave them for collection. They are not dumping the rubbish – as the bags are being collected daily by Rushcliffe Borough Council’s contractors Streetwise. However residents are reporting the farmer’s field being utilised as a toilet – leading to concerns about pungent smells and the possible spread of disease during the hot weather. If the travellers have been using the adjoining land for this purpose RPC says it will report the problem to Rushcliffe’s Environmental Health Department. Staff will also be checking Sellors’ Field for similar contamination and – if it turns out that it has also been used – they will be forced to cordon off the area and employ someone to deep cleanse it.*
As the playing field’s custodians, RPC, have acted surprisingly quickly and effectively to secure the eviction notice – which will be enforced by the end of this week if the families have not moved on by then. As it is private land, Nottinghamshire Police have confirmed they will not be directly involved, however they will have officers onsite to react to any breach of the peace or other criminal issues if the use of force is considered necessary.
We understand RPC’s legal firm has the option to bring bailiffs along and, if required, they can use a vehicle to tow the caravans off. But both the Parish Council and local residents are hoping our visitors will now pack up and leave peacefully of their own accord. RPC’s Grounds Maintenance Team are currently on standby to pick up the remaining rubbish and check for any further issues.
UPDATE 12th JULY 2018
After a visit by bailiffs and police this afternoon the travellers agreed to vacate the site by 7pm tonight. Our photograph below shows them leaving Sellors’ Recreation Ground just before the deadline…
Eyewitness reports confirm they haven’t gone far – and have just set up a new encampment on Ruddington Lane Park in Wilford. Meantime their Ruddington legacy lives on because, unfortunately, it’s not yet the end of the story here either. *An inspection of Sellors’ Recreation Ground following the travellers’ departure has resulted in it being CLOSED on health and safety grounds until further notice. A visit by Environmental Health officials is to take place this Monday (16th July) to access exactly what action is required. However we’ve been asked to make it clear by Ruddington Parish Council that the extra sign (below) about “Awaiting clean up of faeces” was NOT in fact put up by them – since it does not have to be reported exactly why.
Now the race is on to cleanse the site in time for the forthcoming “Ruddington Wakes” funfair – which is due to begin setting up here a week on Monday, ready for Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th July.