Sudbury: Council provides travellers camped on the outskirts of town with free portable toilets

TRAVELLERS camped illegally on council-owned land on the outskirts of Sudbury have been provided with free mobile toilets at a cost of �80 a week, it has emerged.

The group set up camp on the former Second World War Chilton airfield after being evicted from land opposite a children’s playground in Aubrey Drive, less than a mile away.

The county council began steps to move them on again, but in the meantime, Suffolk’s gypsy and traveller liaison team arranged for two portable toilets to be placed on the site, where there are around eight caravans and a further eight associated vehicles.

Shortly after the travellers arrived at the airfield, one Chilton resident who did not want to be named complained about buckets of human waste being dumped in the middle of the roadway that cuts through the airfield.

He said: “It is really not acceptable that lorries are having to drive through this to get to the industrial units and agricultural buildings. It must surely also pose a health hazard for the travellers themselves.”

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The county’s gypsy and traveller liaison service agreed to provide the toilets in association with Babergh District Council and Gt Waldingfield Parish Council.

Gypsy liaison officer Keren Wright, said: “The toilets are in place to reduce the environmental impact on the surrounding area. Emptying the toilets is done by the contractor and the cost of the two toilets is approximately �80 per week.”

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She added: “The Gypsy and Traveller Liaison Team are working with the encampment to recoup costs.”

Babergh district councillor for the area, Jenny Antill, said the parish council had not received as many complaints about the travellers since they had moved from Aubrey Drive. However, she added: “The decision to provide the toilets was made because it is cheaper to provide toilets than it is to pay to clean up the site after the travellers have moved on.”

Ms Wright said the travellers had been granted a temporary reprieve due to “significant welfare issues being raised”. It is believed that one of the women at the site has just given birth. The case will now be reconsidered at a meeting on Monday.

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