Residents left to clear mess left by Churston and Broadsands travellers
FURIOUS Torbay residents have been left to pick up the pieces after a visit by travellers.
A convoy of caravans and cars has now left Churston Common and the public car park at Broadsands.
But they have left piles of rubbish and dozens of seething residents have vowed not to let the situation happen again.
A call for action is being led by farmer Richard Haddock (pictured).
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Tensions between residents and travellers threatened to get out of control with rumours of dog attacks and assaults.
But police said there were no substantial reports of anti-social behaviour or attacks on animals.
Other residents have complained about damage to the car park and the fact rate payers will pick up the cleaning bill.
A public meeting will now be held to discuss what measures can be taken to stop problems being repeated with a suggestion that a local farmer might be prepared to offer the travellers land on which to settle for short periods.
Mr Haddock says he has spoken to 'a farmer in Torbay' who is prepared to offer a site, providing he is supported by the council.
Meanwhile, Mr Haddock has used his tractors and lorries to place large boulders around the common to stop another visit.
He said: "The council officers themselves have done everything they can but the councillors have to take responsibility.
"They were elected to do a job but they are not doing it.
"A lot of people are pretty upset."
He said most councillors were just hoping the problem would go away quickly and grateful that travellers do not turn up in their wards.
But he also criticised people who employed travellers to clear gardens.
He claimed rubbish from paid clearances has been dumped on the common.
He said: "It is the residents in the area who give them work and pay them in money that gives them the biggest incentive to keep coming."
A Torbay Council spokesman said court proceedings to get the travellers evicted had been put in process before they moved on.
He added: "The people who occupied the site at Broadsands have now moved on and the site is being cleaned.
"We are not aware of any incident involving dogs at Broadsands.
"However, we have received a report of an incident on Churston Common, but we do not have the full details. We have not received a complaint in respect of this incident, but if we receive one we will investigate it."
A meeting of the community partnership will take place on Wednesday, May 30, at Churston Ferrers School starting at 6.30pm.