Basildon Council is counting the cost of yet another unauthorised
encampment, this time on open space near the Wat Tyler Country Park in
An area of land off Roscommon Way had been illegally occupied throughout
last week. The council, working with the Essex Countywide Traveller Unit,
got the encampment of two trailers and two vehicles moved on by the weekend
(Saturday 29 October) after getting a court order.
The full horror of the mess left behind for the council to clean up has now
been revealed and together with the usual – household appliances, gas
canisters, rubble and general rubbish – were a number of asbestos roofing
panels and large bundled bales of soiled clothing.
A number of beehives, introduced by the council to encourage bees to play
their part in accelerating a return of what had been light industrial land
back to a natural habitat, have also been destroyed.
Council staff have now begun the clean-up, which is expected to take a
number of days and cost around £15,000.
Councillor Kevin Blake, Deputy Leader of Basildon Council, said: “Not only
is the mess that has been left behind disgusting, it is a real health
hazard and is costing huge amounts of local taxpayers’ money.
“I think the council officers and our contractors who do the clear up
deserve our thanks, they do a great job. But, this time and money we really
should be spending on other important services.”