NEIGHBOURS of an evacuated travellers’ encampment have reacted with outrage after the group left a tip in their wake.
The group, which arrived in the town last week, have left an extensive collection of garden cuttings, childrens’ toys, dog dirt and various other rubbish at the site, between Castle Park and Balmacassie Industrial Estates.
It is understood that the group had been taking work locally performing garden work. An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson confirmed that the council had cleared up the site, and that it had cost in the region of £900 to make good the mess left behind, with 2.6 tonnes of rubbish removed.
Ellon’s councillors have reacted angrily to the news of the mess, and the costs. Cllr Rob Merson told the Times that he had spoken to the council’s environmental health service about having the mess removed.
“Having sought casual gardening work throughout the area, the families have now departed leaving piles of sawn timber, garden debris and household waste at the entrance to the Balmacassie woodland,” he said. “The whole area is strewn with bottles, cans, items of clothing and excrement.
“Once again it is the local residents and Council Tax payers who will be forced to bear the cost, and Council staff who will have to undertake the task of clearing this mess.
“However, it is those who provide the work which attracts the Travelling community to return to the area, and I would urge householders to use reputable local businesses rather than employ ‘landscape gardeners’, ‘tree surgeons’ and ‘tarring contractors’.
who come to the door looking for work. It is their garden debris that has been left lying.”
Cllr Gillian Owen, who has previously stated her support for a legal halting site in Ellon, said that the problem was symptomatic of a lack of halting sites in the area.
“The state that they have left that area is an absolute disgrace,” she said. “It would appear that this group have been going around Castle Park offering a gardening service and when they have carried out any work they have emptied garden waste up on Balmacassie and that is where it remains, for us the residents to pay for it to be uploaded and disposed off.
“I know that a council colleague referred to the Potterton site and how that Traveller group had left it in a reasonably clean and tidy state, yet the group at Castle Park have seen fit to leave rubbish and the like all around. I know I am unpopular when I reiterate the need for a Transit site but it is for that reason that we do need a transit site, so these types of illegal camps can be stopped from day one.”
Cllr Richard Thomson said: “It’s disappointing that this particular group of travellers have chosen to behave so irresponsibly, leaving taxpayers to pick up the bill for cleaning up after them. With rights come responsibilities, which have been blatantly disregarded in this instance. I hope they will be pursued for the clean-up costs to the fullest extent of what is practical.”