Kingston Council locks up its sites after two traveller groups pitch up on private property (From This Is Local London)
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Kingston Council locks up its sites after two traveller groups pitch up on private property
Kingston Council has been put on alert and is securing all of its open spaces after two traveller groups pitched up on private property over the weekend.
Two caravans were parked on St George's industrial estate off Richmond Road, Kingston.
Another mobile home arrived in the car park of Carpet Right and Furniture Village in Kingston Road, New Malden, on Sunday evening.
Although both the incursions have occurred on private land, Kingston Council leader Kevin Davis said an email had been sent to council officials and contractors asking for all council-owned land to be secured.
Last year, a group of travellers moved onto Manor Park playing fields in New Malden through a gap in the fence, and Coun Davis said he wanted to avoid a repeat.
He said: "It is the time of year. It's is horse racing season.
"We're just trying to make sure all sites are secure."
Coun Davis said he spoke to the travellers living on St George's industrial estate and described them as "peaceable" people who said they were moving on.
The Surrey Comet visited both sites yesterday to speak to the travellers.
One woman living on the St George's industrial estate, who called herself Mrs Brown, said her family had been moved "from pillar to post" but declined to make any further comment unless the Surrey Comet paid her or bought her cigarettes.
A young woman also in the caravan said she was part of a community that spent two nights at Manor Park playing fields in New Malden last July.
She also added the family planned to leave the estate, but did not say where they were going.
In the Carpet Right and Furniture Village car park in New Malden, where one caravan is parked, a woman said the family of four only spent Sunday night there as their truck broke down.
She also said the family planned to leave that evening - and would not be staying in Kingston.
Kingston Council has been working on a development plan for traveller and gypsy communities for the past two years.
But a document examining the amount of provision the borough should provide has been delayed, according to the council's website.