Resident holds protest against travellers

A furious resident fed up with travellers camped on land illegally in his home city has staged a one-man protest - and parked his van outside his town hall.

The 40-year-old, who declined to be named, spent five hours sat parked inside his Volkswagen in a doorway at Hove Town Hall in East Sussex yesterday.



He was made his feelings known at what he claimed was an ineffectual response from his council in dealing with travellers camped on land illegally.



Police were called to the town hall by security to speak to him, but as his protest was peaceful and no exits were being blocked they declined to move him on.



He eventually moved when the town hall closed but vowed to take further action to force Brighton and Hove City Council to clamp down on illegal camps.



He suggested people "take matters into their own hands" by building trenches across park entrances to stop travellers from entering.



This week travellers towed 16 caravans on to the city's Withdean Park shortly after a group moved from another park in the area, he said.



Today the protestor, who works in property management, said: "I had threatened the council that I would do something previously when we had multiple visits from travellers in our park and they did nothing about it.



"Every time they move on they leave a trail of rubbish, human excrement and damage to wire fences and plants.



"No-one tends to go in the park with their dogs when there are kids driving dangerously with quad bikes and generally behaving badly."



The man said the council needed to adopt a firmer line against illegal travellers otherwise Brighton and Hove will earn a reputation as a "soft touch" and be besieged.



He went on: "I'm very sympathetic to travellers if they are decent and respectful, but the ones that come into the parks and behave badly can f*** off, to be honest.



"It's just not on.



"Brighton is a really cool city and that's half the reason why I moved here because it's relaxed, but there is relaxed and there is plain stupidity.



"What we have is a council which is opening the door to this kind of inappropriate activity."



The man was supported by Brighton and Hove City councillor Dawn Barnett, who brought him a cup of tea as he sat in his van.



She said: "It's absolutely horrendous at the moment. The council says we haven't got any more travellers than previous years but we are being inundated.



"They are bringing their filth, they go to the toilet in the bushes and they intimidate residents. People need to realise that we are fed up about it."



A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: "We're obviously aware of the protest.



"It was perfectly peaceful and the gentleman left fairly quickly, moving his van of his own accord.



"We're assuring residents that we act as quickly as the law allows to clear sensitive sites, including the one he was protesting about.



"We had also already decided to put earth banks around this and other important parks to prevent vehicles being driven onto them in future."

PA

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £25,000

£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...

Recruitment Genius: 1st Line Technical Support Engineer

£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

Recruitment Genius: Developer

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future