Traveller problems

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ChipbuttyG
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Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Hello all.

So our traveller friends have vacated Westfield Park in Caversham and wait for it....

......are now on Kings Meadow. When they vacate there, which park will the be on next...?
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piwacket
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by piwacket »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Sep 2021 11:57 Hello all.

So our traveller friends have vacated Westfield Park in Caversham and wait for it....

......are now on Kings Meadow. When they vacate there, which park will the be on next...?
You name it and they’ll probably be there soon :))
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BOY RACER
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by BOY RACER »

How about Windsor Great Park. If they did I wonder how long they would be there
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ChipbuttyG
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

piwacket wrote: 14 Sep 2021 12:51
ChipbuttyG wrote: 14 Sep 2021 11:57 Hello all.

So our traveller friends have vacated Westfield Park in Caversham and wait for it....

......are now on Kings Meadow. When they vacate there, which park will the be on next...?
You name it and they’ll probably be there soon :))
I would have thought the council would be on top of the security of the parks by now after all these years. The travellers break a lock to a height restriction barrier and what do the council do? Just replace the lock. Why not use hydraulic bollards that are way more effective?

Not only would that save money long term on the constant eviction and clean up costs, the council also provide portaloos for every illegal encampment so there's that extra cost too.

It's a farcical merry-go-round.
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mikejee
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by mikejee »

PC49 wrote: 14 Sep 2021 13:02 How about Windsor Great Park. If they did I wonder how long they would be there
They did a few months ago and were soon moved on , but only to go and contaminate another local park

https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/readi ... g-20723740

https://www.thenational.scot/news/19347 ... tle-lawns/
Mayfield
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by Mayfield »

Why don’t they do what the NT do, and build raised edges to the open spaces ? Them make some entrance to the park but too narrow for their vans ?
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by Fed-up »

Sturdier barriers where you can't cut the padlock off would also be a great investment. I know a number of private sites that have these and don't have a problem with incursions.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by windrush »

Fed-up wrote: 15 Sep 2021 09:18 Sturdier barriers where you can't cut the padlock off would also be a great investment. I know a number of private sites that have these and don't have a problem with incursions.
Here they have put low height barriers on the car parks (which means when I go shopping I can no longer park my van in them!) so the travellers moved onto the bus station where they have now been since january. They appear quite tidy though, and the council have provided skips for their rubbish.

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ChipbuttyG
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Fed-up wrote: 15 Sep 2021 09:18 Sturdier barriers where you can't cut the padlock off would also be a great investment. I know a number of private sites that have these and don't have a problem with incursions.
Exactly this. I mentioned this to some of our councillors a few years ago but they do not seem interested. A short term investment would have saved so much taxpayers money on eviction, clean up and provision of portaloos at every illegal encampment.

The recent encampment on Westfield Park in Caversham, the travellers managed to remove a very thin, almost joke sized bollard that was never man enough for the job.

After years of illegal encampments across our parks you would think a team would assess the vulnerable/weak points where they can gain access and rectify it accordingly.

But instead, time after time, the merry-go-round of encampments continues. It's the lack of proactivity that's so frustrating.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by bert »

I believe they're installing a motorized rising bollard at Cintra Park to help prevent the travellers getting in.
ChipbuttyG
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

If only the council had taken this measure a few years ago. A hydraulic bollard or two would have more than paid for themselves by now......
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by KeithW »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 16 Sep 2021 15:05 If only the council had taken this measure a few years ago. A hydraulic bollard or two would have more than paid for themselves by now......
I imagine they cost quite a bit to install, maintain and repair. The travellers will either break them or go somewhere else with easier access- they won't dissappear.

Are all your posts anti-council, or just most of them?
ChipbuttyG
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

KeithW wrote: 16 Sep 2021 16:07
ChipbuttyG wrote: 16 Sep 2021 15:05 If only the council had taken this measure a few years ago. A hydraulic bollard or two would have more than paid for themselves by now......
I imagine they cost quite a bit to install, maintain and repair. The travellers will either break them or go somewhere else with easier access- they won't dissappear.

Are all your posts anti-council, or just most of them?
Hydraulic bollards are very robust. More so than a new padlock to replace the one that was damaged....

Yes, I suppose my posts to date have been anti-Reading council. I suppose I was trying to bring Reading issues to the table as it seems most threads are very stagnant except the Chat thread on the Chatty person forum.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by dave m »

Hydraulic or other barriers cost a lot, and require servicing plus a power supply.

Simple goalpost style barriers or locked posts are pretty much maintenance free and just require a couple of holes to be dug.
Once you make a "smart" barrier it all gets a lot harder.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

There are (or were) hydraulic bollards in the bus lane in Southcote Lane. I understand they failed within a few months - as did the light up warning sign - and neither have never been repaired so Dave m has a point.

The earth barriers you see around parks, and the ‘step over’ barriers both seem to work well in keeping them out. Large concrete blocks protecting buildings that are either derelict awaiting redevelopment, or vacant land, are also effective.

There’s also a case that could be made for watchtowers and semi automatics.....
Disclaimer: it wasn't me as wot said it, it was my iPad spellchecker!
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 17 Sep 2021 14:33

The earth barriers you see around parks, and the ‘step over’ barriers both seem to work well in keeping them out.
So why do they just keep moving from park to park if they work well keeping them out?
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

dave m wrote: 17 Sep 2021 14:05 Hydraulic or other barriers cost a lot, and require servicing plus a power supply.

Simple goalpost style barriers or locked posts are pretty much maintenance free and just require a couple of holes to be dug.
Once you make a "smart" barrier it all gets a lot harder.
But goalpost style barriers are ineffective as we've recently seen at the illegal encampment on Hills Meadow car park.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

ChipbuttyG wrote: 17 Sep 2021 15:37
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 17 Sep 2021 14:33

The earth barriers you see around parks, and the ‘step over’ barriers both seem to work well in keeping them out.
So why do they just keep moving from park to park if they work well keeping them out?
Because the earth barriers are not universally installed. Not every park (or other kind of site) is suitable to use that technique. It still involves the use of probably at least one locked gate/barrier, as they need access for emergency vehicles and grass cutting/tree surgery equipment etc.

Other methods are used in other locations, as I mentioned before - step overs etc.

What would be your solution chipbutty?
Disclaimer: it wasn't me as wot said it, it was my iPad spellchecker!
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 17 Sep 2021 17:00
ChipbuttyG wrote: 17 Sep 2021 15:37
Voiceoftreason? wrote: 17 Sep 2021 14:33

The earth barriers you see around parks, and the ‘step over’ barriers both seem to work well in keeping them out.
So why do they just keep moving from park to park if they work well keeping them out?
Because the earth barriers are not universally installed. Not every park (or other kind of site) is suitable to use that technique. It still involves the use of probably at least one locked gate/barrier, as they need access for emergency vehicles and grass cutting/tree surgery equipment etc.

Other methods are used in other locations, as I mentioned before - step overs etc.

What would be your solution chipbutty?
My solution is to spend more money on better, more robust security. This is something the council should have done years ago and it would have saved the taxpayer a lot of money in the long run.

Simply replacing a broken padlock with another padlock isn't the answer.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

bert wrote: 16 Sep 2021 14:47 I believe they're installing a motorized rising bollard at Cintra Park to help prevent the travellers getting in.
This is good news bert. I just wish our sloth like council would be more proactive. They take an absolute age to do anything.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

Yes, I think most people would agree with that. But WHAT security do you mean? Physical barriers, manned patrols, automatic deterrents, what? I don’t think the council are short of ideas, just short of time, money and manpower.

At some stage, Law will come into effect that makes it easier to turf these people off wherever they pitch up. Until then, they know full well it’s a game of cat and mouse, police and bailiffs, court appearances and playing the victims.

Likewise there’s no one solution to this problem theirs also no universal deterrent that will physically prevent them going where they will, that’s instantly available I’m afraid.
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

bert wrote: 16 Sep 2021 14:47 I believe they're installing a motorized rising bollard at Cintra Park to help prevent the travellers getting in.
Be good if they did. Cintra seems to be a favourite with them.
Last edited by Voiceoftreason? on 18 Sep 2021 13:24, edited 1 time in total.
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ChipbuttyG
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Voiceoftreason? wrote: 18 Sep 2021 09:31 Yes, I think most people would agree with that. But WHAT security do you mean? Physical barriers, manned patrols, automatic deterrents, what? I don’t think the council are short of ideas, just short of time, money and manpower.

At some stage, Law will come into effect that makes it easier to turf these people off wherever they pitch up. Until then, they know full well it’s a game of cat and mouse, police and bailiffs, court appearances and playing the victims.

Likewise there’s no one solution to this problem theirs also no universal deterrent that will physically prevent them going where they will, that’s instantly available I’m afraid.
An example. The Hills Meadow car park gate has been broken time and time again. Hydraulic bollards would be much, much better there. This has been happening for years. The council have a duty of care to protect our parks. They've failed miserably and have let the residents of Reading down.

I don't agree that the council are short of time and if they're short of money, that's partly their own doing. I can go into all sorts of details about that, but it would take too long.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by dave m »

ChipbuttyG

Please give an estimate of the cost per bollard, including installation
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

dave m wrote: 18 Sep 2021 11:47 ChipbuttyG

Please give an estimate of the cost per bollard, including installation
Why do you want that?
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by dave m »

To see what you expect it to cost.
Let's say there are 10 park gates needing barriers.
(Palmer Park has three possible ways in, one of which would be more complicated)

For info

There are 83 "parks" listed on RBC's website.
Obviously these are not all likely candidates for traveller invasion
Let's say that 50 of them are and that each has two gates.

You suggest a solution and I am wondering what you think the cost might be compared to a metal goal post
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Voiceoftreason?
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

83? I didn’t realise it was that many.

Chipbutty - how do you know that, for example, Hills Meadow isn’t already scheduled/planned in for bollards, or another more robust measure, to be installed?

If you’ve got details on the reasons their short of money (if I’ve read your post correctly) i think we’d all be interested in knowing what the supporting evidence you have for that is.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by C.A.Versham »

This is drifting off topic a bit but in terms of funds available does RBC collect all the Council Tax it is due, do they have to pay large fees to consultants to sort out their accounts and get them audited, do they allocate funds to vanity projects, do the recently installed on street parking meters cover their cost? I think we should be told.

The earth barriers installed at Calcot and other places seem to work very well and can be planted with wild flowers to enhance the environment. Anything with a lock on it can be broken into, especially now that powerful portable metal disc cutters are readily available.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by spectrum64 »

Earth barriers will work but in most places there needs to be access for mowers etc. So some sort of entry point with a barrier is needed.
Regarding Hill's Meadow that has been mentioned, that couldn't have bollards could it unless it stopped being a car park.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

C.A.Versham wrote: 18 Sep 2021 16:12 This is drifting off topic a bit but in terms of funds available does RBC collect all the Council Tax it is due, do they have to pay large fees to consultants to sort out their accounts and get them audited, do they allocate funds to vanity projects, do the recently installed on street parking meters cover their cost? I think we should be told.

The earth barriers installed at Calcot and other places seem to work very well and can be planted with wild flowers to enhance the environment. Anything with a lock on it can be broken into, especially now that powerful portable metal disc cutters are readily available.
Good post.

We must remember that when Reading Borough Council tell us they're short of money, their accounts have been late for 5+ years running. Costing the taxpayer between £1m and £2m. They've had failed vanity projects galore, such as ReadyBike, the Oxford Road regeneration project. 2 x failed bids on Reading Gaol. A failed bid for the police station. The dither and delay in getting the new leisure facilities sorted has already cost an extra £2m. Near us - last year, they re-painted the road markings on a large stretch of road, then 2 weeks later hydro-blasted them away for more new road markings for the active travel scheme.

This is only the tip of the iceberg.

And to make matters worse, they've increased council tax and upped the already extortionate car parking charges.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

spectrum64 wrote: 18 Sep 2021 17:04 Earth barriers will work but in most places there needs to be access for mowers etc. So some sort of entry point with a barrier is needed.
Regarding Hill's Meadow that has been mentioned, that couldn't have bollards could it unless it stopped being a car park.
Hills meadow car park had fixed goalpost barriers which aren't a problem. The problem is to the left where there is a height restriction swing gate which has a padlock so council workers in their vans can gain access or large vehicles when the circus comes to town. This is where the travellers gain entry. The height restriction swing gate needs replacing with something more secure.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

dave m wrote: 18 Sep 2021 12:02 To see what you expect it to cost.
Let's say there are 10 park gates needing barriers.
(Palmer Park has three possible ways in, one of which would be more complicated)

For info

There are 83 "parks" listed on RBC's website.
Obviously these are not all likely candidates for traveller invasion
Let's say that 50 of them are and that each has two gates.

You suggest a solution and I am wondering what you think the cost might be compared to a metal goal post
The short term cost would be higher of course, but had the council acted a good few years ago when this is became a constant merry-go-round of travellers moving from park to park, the long term savings would have been beneficial to the tax payer.

Every time there is an illegal encampment there's the whole rigmarole of providing portaloos, the clean up costs and eviction costs, the policing costs etc.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

RBC website says that Council officers visit incursions on council owned land in one working day. They are required to assess (amongst other things) child education, heath and general welfare status, be able to demonstrate that the encampment is on council land without consent, ensure the HRA is complied with and subsequently notify the encampment that legal action will be taken. The next move is for the Court - which can take time depending on lists and existing cases.

Police do support them, but as the encampment is a civil, not legal, matter, they can’t do much except be on hand to keep the peace.

I believe that there is some kind of new Law Bill going through, similar to that which they have in Ireland, to speed the process up and evict Travellers pretty much same day.

As previously mentioned, you can’t completely ring fence public open spaces. They belong to us all, and there’s a balance to be found between making access difficult to keep undesirables off, and keeping it open for the rest of us. Should there be an emergency, 999 services need to be able to get on site, so earth barriers need level access. Obviously as also mentioned, grass cutting and general maintenance vehicles need to be able to work there too.

I’m sure the 83 parks of different types is correct. It doesn’t take much to think how long and how much is needed to secure each one.

I would suggest that various failed projects, had sponsors, supporters and pressure groups both pushing and pulling the council to action. If you feel that strongly about securing parks and open spaces, perhaps some action on your behalf might assist.

There’s plenty that say ‘should’ and sit back, and few that actually get up and do.
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by ChipbuttyG »

Look at Hills meadow car park. Emergency services, such as the fire brigade or large ambulances would still require someone to open the gate for them to gain access. You can't completely ring fence parks but you can put in preventative measures to stop vehicles with large caravans gaining access. I do however get that it's much more difficult to stop these idiots blighting our parks on scrambler bikes etc due to the much smaller nature of the vehicle.

I've actually been in contact with councillors regarding this issue. They're not really interested other than come up with excuses rather than solutions. (As RBC always do).

The failed vanity projects such as Readybike did have a sponsor. The sponsorship ran out so RBC were paying £10,000 a month to keep it going. Eventually it was scrapped and some of the bikes were donated to The Forbury Hotel.... again, just the tip of the iceberg with wasted money by Reading Borough Council....
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Re: Traveller problems

Post by Voiceoftreason? »

RBC is IMHO, no better nor worse than any other Council. Quite why you’re so down on them, I don’t know - nor care, really. Everyone knows they make mistakes. No organisation gets anything 100% right.

I, and at least one other forum member, I think, has worked for RBC. In the main, the staff do their best. It’s not council employees, on the whole, that drive the decisions, it’s the Councillors and the Executive/Committees. If you’ve been in contact with them, did you offer solutions of your own perhaps?

IIRC, emergency services have keys to locked park entrances. It wold be a ridiculous situation for a tender to rock up, wait to gain entry, and watch something burn down in the meantime otherwise wouldn’t it.

As for off road bikes and four wheelers, I saw two in the road yesterday. Neither rider wore a helmet. Karma has a way of catching up with people like that.
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