WORRIED residents claim they have been unable to leave their homes over Christmas because of Travellers camped nearby.
The group arrived on the site at the corner of Wellington Road and Cromwell Road in Ellesmere Port on Friday, December 14. To date, 19 caravans are there.
They were ordered to move by the authorities but refused.
The borough council now has a County Court order to move them but it is understood bailiffs won’t be able to enforce it until January 2 at the earliest.
This has left many residents frustrated and some say they are worried about the security of their properties.
One resident, who wouldn’t be named, said: “I didn’t leave our house over Christmas. I have even had to cancel a New Year event because of this.
“Residents here feel their Christmas has been ruined.”
The man felt so strongly about the issue he went to the council offices on Friday and refused to leave until he had met a senior officer.
Director of housing and development services Rob Selby came to see him. Coincidentally Inspector Richard Rees of Ellesmere Port Police Station was due to meet Mr Selby at that time, so met the resident too.
The man explained: “The Inspector was very good. He said he’d step up patrols in the area.
“But Mr Selby refused to put in 24-hour security. It is a totally uncaring council. Residents feel abandoned.”
The man, who has now threatened to move from the area, said he might even complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.
Fellow resident Ken Stokes said: “After the Travellers moved in the council provided them with skips which they filled with garden rubbish.
“They have generators going at night. People are worried about leaving their homes.”
Mr Selby said: “We are taking all of the legal steps possible in partnership with the police to ensure this illegal encampment is moved as soon as possible.
“We have got a possession order but it cannot be executed by the courts until the bailiffs’ office re-opens after Christmas.
“We have taken steps to ensure the encampment does not get any bigger and is organised in a way that minimises disruption to residents.
“We are also arranging for mobile toilets to be provided at the site, which the families on the encampment are paying for, and have provided rubbish sacks to help make sure the area is kept clean and tidy.
“We have been working closely with the police, who have pledged to step up patrols in the area and encourage people to contact the police if they have any concerns at all.”