Leeds polling site travellers ordered off

Travellers who have moved onto Burley common.
Travellers who have moved onto Burley common.
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TRAVELLERS who blocked a polling booth by setting up an illegal camp have until today to leave the site.

The group, on Burley Village Green, have been pitching up their sites all over Kirkstall and Burley in recent weeks.

Late last week they were issued with an eviction notice after Leeds City Council obtained a county court order.

After pitching up at the site, residents alerted the council and voiced their concerns at the travellers’ occupation after their camp blocked access to a polling booth.

The travellers were expected to leave before the local elections on Thursday.

Coun John Illingworth (Lab, Kirkstall) said: “It’s the only bit of green grass for this area of housing, so it is not right that there are so many caravans here.

“We’re very proud of our space and we really don’t want travellers spoiling it.”

The group moved around 15 caravans, four horses and several cars to Burley Village Green.

This latest eviction notice, which will last for three months, is the third issued against the group on different sites in less than a month.

The travellers were recently evicted from land outside Radio Aire, in Kirkstall Road, and then the grass land behind the Rising Sun Trading Post, in Wolseley Road.

A council spokeswoman said: “We were successful in securing a court order at the hearing with regards to the land at Burley Village Green. We are confident the polling station will not be affected on Thursday.”

Coun Illingworth will be contesting the Kirkstall ward seat in the local elections.

Others standing are Stuart Long (Independent), Chris Lovell (Lib Dem), Morgan Rhy Tatchell-Evans (Green) and Daniel Andrew Whitehouse (Con).

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