AN INTERNET group set up to oppose a permanent Traveller site in Ellesmere Port has more than 900 members.

The group – Stop the Foxfields Gypsy Camp – was set up on social networking site Facebook on November 3.

The group was established hours after a previous group was closed due to fears some posts could incite racial hatred.

The new group, which is receiving new members by the hour, is focusing on gathering views of the local community on a Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC) bid for a permanent Gypsy and Traveller site in Ellesmere Port, believed to be the old Foxfields pub site in Rivacre.

An ipetition so far has 126 signatures.

Group administrator Sandy Saunders, of Woodacre Road, said: “We started the Facebook group because we felt the local residents and business community had been given no information regarding the proposed Traveller site located on the old Foxfields ground.

“We did not set this group up to generate negative feeling toward any group of people, but we have genuine concerns over the suitability of the proposed site.

“The group is there to act as a forum for people to impart news of any meetings and provide links to important information and an online petition provided by members.

“The administrators of the group are working hard to remove any comments which could be considered against Facebook policy.

“Most of the comments from local residents are directed at the council and local people feel they should have been consulted before any proposal was put forward.

“We have written to CWAC chief executive Steve Robinson to formally request a public consultation.

“We have also set up a website”

A meeting called by Ellesmere Port Labour councillors at Rivacre Primary School on November 3, had to be cancelled due to a leaky roof.

Cllr Justin Madders (Central and Westminster) said: “When I rang Rivacre Primary School to re-book for another meeting I was told my booking was declined.

“Rumours are not helping calm things down.

“Whatever the outcome a meeting would calm things.”

“I have asked the council to arrange a meeting or agree to come to one we arrange.”

He said the number of people in the Facebook group “shows the demand for answers”.

CWAC senior media relations manager Ian Callister said: “In light of action taken over a former ‘group’ on Facebook, which contained both highly inflammatory and illegal postings, no authority with a responsibility for the safety of children and community could sensibly condone a public meeting at a local school on such an issue.

“However, members of the public certainly have every right to express their views publicly on any issue – so long as those views do not break the law.”