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PICTURED: The appalling filth left behind by travellers in Wednesfield

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Horrendous, disgusting, appalling - just some of the words used to describe the shocking mess left behind by travellers in the Black Country.

An abandoned caravan that's in bits, human waste, cardboard boxes, drinks cans, mattresses and black bin bags covered the land off Kitchen Lane in Wednesfield.

Residents described themselves as 'outraged' by the mess, which has prompted one councillor for tougher action on travellers.

Around 30 caravans turned up on the land last Monday. By the time they left on Saturday night, the ground was covered with trash and a battered old caravan with broken windows was left behind.

Will Wilson, aged 79, whose home in Rogers Close backs onto the land, said: "It's absolutely horrendous. I can't understand that we apply the litter law to people who drop cigarette ends but when we get these people leaving a horrible mess like this no one can take any action or doesn't bother taking action.

"It is indescribable really what has happened. When they arrived last week I said the mess when they left would wreak havoc and it's done exactly that.

"It's a beautiful area, kids play on there and people take their dogs for a walk and people are unhappy when they see it turned into an absolute mess and used a toilet."

Another resident, who asked not to be named, added: "We've been scared to leave our house for the past week, these people have no morals whatsoever.

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"How they've left the park in that way is disgusting.

The trashed caravan
Inside the trashed caravan

"It outrages me to think that our hard-earned money is being put towards the council now needing to clean this up, it doesn't make sense."

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Wednesfield councillor Phil Bateman described the mess as 'appalling'.

"It is a real untidy situation across the whole of the green space. You name it, they have left it. By and large we are all horrified at what has been left behind," he said.

"I'm thankful they have gone but they have left enough behind for them to be remembered.

Councillor Phil Bateman also said the law needed to change in regards to dealing with travellers and the police should have greater powers for tougher action.

"There does need to be a debate," he said. "I have already written to the council leader. I do think there needs to be an examination of the policy the police are working to and the local authority are working to.

"The police have powers they could have used and didn't which led to the local authority using powers which are slower. That needs to be debated thoroughly."

Councillor Bateman was so disgusted by the situation that he posted a video of what the travellers had left behind, which attracted thousands of views.

In the video, he describes the 'shocking' state of the land which has been left strewn with rubbish.

He said residents are often left frustrated by a lack of communication over what is happening when travellers pitch up.

"I've done something that has never been done before in Wolverhampton, giving live updates on social media," Councillor Bateman added.

"There is a lot of anger in the community and if they hadn't have been kept up to date their frustration might have boiled over.

"It has been a difficult week for everybody, especially the community that live close to the site. There was genuine fear from some older members of the community over what might or might not happen."

Another resident, who did want to be named, said: "Tell me how it's fair that residents could be potentially fined for allowing their dogs to dirt in the park but the travellers themselves are leaving human faeces for us to clean up, where's the justice?

"What have the police done in this situation? I haven't seen them at all over the last week."

Wolverhampton council said it was working to clear up the site as soon as possible.

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