Woodford ‘Rec’ is a community recreation ground and sports facility including a grass pitch for cricket, four football pitches and a small 10-space car park. It belongs to Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council and as such we all pay towards it. The sports clubs based there also pay to use it, which the players’ subs contribute towards. On Sunday, several travellers arrived on the land and proceeded to set up camp, raising many concerns amongst local residents.
Regardless of the emotive and often controversial issues around travellers, the simple facts are that it’s illegal to camp there and that we, the Council Tax payers, are currently unable to use our facility. We will continue to update you – with facts and communications from the authorities – as the situation progresses. If there are any genuine crime, safety or public order concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the police on 101 or 999 if a crime is in progress or there is a threat to a person’s safety.
Your Ward Councillors Mike Hurleston, Brian Bagnall and John McGahan would like to thank all residents for their help and support following the unexpected arrival of a group of travellers to Woodford Recreation ground yesterday afternoon.
The Council were notified immediately and Officers are now dealing with the process and removal of the illegal occupation.
Officers have been to the site to assess the situation and a Public Health inspection has been put into place. The Police are involved and visiting the site.
We have requested an urgent resolution which includes: removal of all caravans and people from the site, a complete clean-up of the recreation ground and an improved security barrier to stop this happening again. We fully appreciate residents’ concerns and would wish to reassure you that we are dealing with the process as quickly as possible
> Local officers are aware of the situation and will be conducting patrols
> The advice received from the police is to not use the services on offer if you have an unsolicited knock at the door and are asked if you to want to have your driveway, garden, trees done etc. As always, if you require ANY work done on your property, research the tradespeople, and get quotes and ideally personal recommendations. Please ensure elderly relatives and neighbours are aware too. The more work we give the travellers camping on Woodford Rec the longer they will stay.
Update from Mary Robinson MP
Mary is receiving updates on the situation from the Council who are going through the legal process of removing the travellers. They have advised us of the following:
Public Health have visited the site of the occupation, and during their visit they identified ‘needs’, therefore they have arranged for the appropriate support to be put in place and the necessary appointments will be made as soon as possible by the NHS. Follow up visits will be carried out by Public Health in due course.
The outcome of this visit puts a halt to the formal process to recover the land, however, as soon as the Council are notified that there are no further ‘needs’, the formal process to recover the land will begin.
Message from Neighbourhood Policing Team
We are also receiving a lot of messages/calls regarding the travellers on Woodford Rec.
I have contacted the council and have been advised that they are currently liaising with the local MP’s and are currently in the process of claiming the land back. I have been informed that all of the proceedings for obtaining a court order can be done within a week by the council.
Unfortunately the land is not a policing matter until any attempts to claim the land back with a court order from the council are breached by the travellers. In the event of a breach, the police’s powers of removal would be used straight away to remove the travellers from the land.
All local officers are aware and will be conducting patrols as much as possible in the meantime to check for/police any conduct issues. I have spoken to local Officer PC Bailey today and she will be visiting this evening.
> Police checked the following vehicles
– Premier Roofing White Transit Van NJ07UPZ – MOT expired, unknown if taxed at this time.
– Home Improvements White Transit van NJ10VXP – Tax & MOT both expired
– Unmarked White Transit Van NU62KBP – MOT Valid, unknown if taxed at this time.
> The issue is currently being dealt with by the Council and they can only advise to wait until a court order is issued in order to resolve the problem as a whole. The police will continue to police the area whenever possible.
> Unleashed aggressive dogs seen around the area, entering the nearby field where horses roam.
> Accumulation of litter and human waste reported to the council
> Police entered the site this evening and a notice has been served under the Sections 61-62 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act they must leave by 10am Friday 13 July
8.30pm most have left the site there are a few stragglers as they have been drinking and unable to drive tonight
Statement from MP Mary Robinsons’s Office regarding the traveller occupation at Woodford Rec.
As you may be aware, a Section 61 notice was served last night to travellers at Woodford Rec.
Further to this, we have been advised by Stockport Council that the field has been cleared of bagged up waste and that a team will return on Monday to clear a small amount of remaining hardcore and green waste. Regarding any footpaths affected by human waste which residents had reported, we understand that these will be cleared either later on today or in the morning.
Finally, we have been advised by Stockport Council that they will be able to secure the site over the weekend.
Statement for GMP regarding the travellers on Woodford Recreation Ground:
Travellers were issued with a notice and moved yesterday evening from Woodford and relocated to Wilmslow Road, Cheadle. They were issued with a second removal notice instantly which they had to move again by 10am today.
Officers have visited the site earlier today and they had not yet left.
They were given a final hour warning and an hour later a local sergeant was set to lead a team over to the site with removal vehicles to seize any remaining vehicles.
Please be aware that the notices that they have been issued with means that they are not permitted to return to either site for three years. This includes any of their vehicles, so all registrations have been noted and if ANY one of these vehicles is spotted on either site over the next three years they will be seized.
We will update this page so please come back to this article regularly