Leeds group ‘dismayed’ over travellers

Traveller caravans on Holbeck Moor.
Traveller caravans on Holbeck Moor.
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The treasurer of Holbeck in Bloom claims the group’s hard work has been “trashed” after a large group of travellers set up camp on Holbeck Moor.

Ian Pickup says flower beds and grass verges have been destroyed after 29 caravans arrived at the side of Holbeck Moor Road last week.

Mr Pickup said: “Holbeck in Bloom entertained judges from Yorkshire in Bloom earlier this year. The judges were impressed by the efforts of local volunteers in making Holbeck cleaner and brighter with floral environmental improvements.

“The judges in spring awarded a silver gilt and we were hoping to achieve the same overall award at the forthcoming award ceremony in York in September.

“Volunteers and residents were extremely dismayed to see approximately 30 vehicles arrive and park on the moor.

“Flower beds, grass verges and pathways were taken over. Fires were lit and large amounts of cardboard rubbish strewn about the moor .

“The hard work of the in bloom group has been trashed.

“We are told by the council that efforts to remove the caravans will take up to two weeks.”

Inspector Jon Arrowsuch, who heads the Inner South Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “I can fully understand the concerns raised by the Holbeck in Bloom organisers and the wider community about this group of travellers setting up camp on the grass verges outside Holbeck Moor park.

“We are currently working alongside the council to resolve the situation.”

A Leeds City Council spokesman said: “We have since been monitoring the area and officers have cleared a number of incidents of fly-tipping during the course of the week.

“Discussions are currently ongoing between the police and the council and we will be taking the appropriate action to ensure this illegal encampment is vacated.”