Travellers move from Cleckheaton to Mirfield

A GROUP of travellers who moved on to a campsite designated for Cleckheaton Folk Festival visitors have left.

The travellers set up camp on the field off Primrose Lane, Littletown, on Wednesday.

Organisers of the festival said it would go on regardless and another site would be found for campers.

But the travellers left last night at about 7.30pm.

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Festival director David Minich said: “Everything is as normal. Campers can go to the site. There are no problems. Kirkless Council has been fantastic in clearing up the site.”

A group thought to be the same travellers moved on to Knowl Park in Mirfield at about 9.30pm last night.

Mirfield councillor Martyn Bolt said he was concerned about the damage that could be caused to the park - especially in light of recent investment in facilities for young people, including a games area and a skate park.

He said: “This is a sensitive site and where in some cases travellers are allowed to be there for a week, because of the nature of this site with houses surrounding it, we need to take possession as fast as we can.”

Children were unable to use the facilities, he added.

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A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “Police can use special powers to move a traveller encampment if there are extreme circumstances involved. The fact that Cleckheaton Folk Festival relies on its campsite to be available for its survival meant that these special powers could be invoked.

“Unfortunately, this avenue is not available with respect to the new encampment at Knowl Park in Mirfield and this application has to go through the court process in the normal way with the first available court date being the morning of July 8.”