Leeds residents call on litter laws to be actioned

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FURIOUS residents have called for more action against travellers who leave parks full of litter.

The issue came about after one group, who pitched up at Burley Village Green last week, left gas canisters, scrap metal and broken glass scattered across the site.

The travellers, who have been evicted from three Burley and Kirkstall sites in the last month, were forced by Leeds City Council to leave the site as their vehicles were blocking entry to a polling booth.

One Burley resident, whose house overlooks the green, said: “I can’t see why the police can’t do anything, for littering they should be prosecuted.

“I’d get a charge, but they can have five horses fouling and not get one. It seems like positive discrimination, there are too many rights for people without houses.”

A city council spokesman said: “In accordance with our legal duty a refuse collection service attended the site last week and following the travellers moving on yesterday, council staff cleared the site.”

But he added that the travellers were not fly-tipping.

The caravans were earlier evicted from the grassy area outside Radio Aire, in Kirkstall Road, and later from grassland behind the nearby Rising Sun Trading Post, in Wolseley Road.

The group then moved its 15 caravans, four horses and several cars from their latest site, Burley Village Green, on Monday.

Coun John Illingworth (Lab, Kirkstall) said: “I think the council can do more, this cat and mouse game is leading nowhere. Up to now the problem has been terribly bad. It is not acceptable.”

The council acted quickly to protect local peoples’ right to vote, putting through an eviction notice to remove the group from in front of the polling booth within days.

According to a council scrutiny report, published in January, Leeds City Council spent more than £1.9million on evictions and clearing of unauthorised traveller sites between 2003 and 2010.

* Coun Illingworth will be contesting his Kirkstall ward seat tomorrow (May 5) against Stuart Long (Independent), Chris Lovell (Lib Dem), Morgan Rhys Tatchell-Evans (Green) and Daniel Andrew Whitehouse (Con).

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