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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Executive

£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: New Lift Sales Executive - Lift and Elevators

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss