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'Rubbish and excrement everywhere': Disgust at mess left by travellers in West Bromwich

A children's play area has been left in a 'real mess' after travellers were evicted on Friday.

'Rubbish and excrement everywhere': Disgust at mess left by travellers in West Bromwich

If the piles of rubbish, trashed furniture and an abandoned car weren't bad enough, human excrement is also visible around the site between Chester Road and Surrey Crescent in West Bromwich.

The extensive damage has devastated volunteers who spent five years raising around £40,000 to turn the park into a haven for families, complete with a play area and gym, only for it to be wrecked in a matter of days.

Black bin bags stuffed with waste have been left behind

On Friday, enforcement agents Penham Excel were contracted by Sandwell Council to move the travellers, who had been there since Tuesday evening, with support from West Midlands Police. Director of Penham Excel, Philip Hammonds, said: "It is a real mess. There is rubbish and excrement everywhere.

"We are advising families with children to stay off the area until it has been cleaned by the council."

Bosses had to increase the number of enforcement officers sent to the park from two to eight when the travellers initially refused to move. They also brought a towing vehicle with them, but in the end this served as a sufficient warning rather than having to be put into action to remove the dozens of caravans.

Even a car has been dumped, alongside a heap of soil

Although relieved that they have now gone, the destruction they have left in their wake has been heartbreaking for nearby resident and fundraiser Dawn Bennett.

"It is terrible. I have never seen so much mess," said 49-year-old Ms Bennett.

"It has been completely trashed and a damaged car has been left, which is going to be difficult to remove.

"There was a zip wire that was part of the play area which they have broken.

Rubbish left by travellers at the play area in West Bromwich

"I know that there is a human excrement because I saw them going into the bushes around the back of my house, a couple of them in the night. It is disgusting."

She continued: "It was beautiful, and now it is an eyesore. It took five years and lots of meetings, and securing funds from places like the lottery, and it was all finished last year. I don't know what we're going to do now, as the Millfields Green Space doesn't exist any more. I know people are talking about installing concrete blocks to protect it, but how much is that going to cost?" she added.

This measure is also being looked at to protect the green space between Schofield Avenue and Wyntor Lane, that was blighted by the same group of travellers.

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