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Campaigners celebrate over action to tackle travellers
Campaigners are celebrating after Brighton and Hove City Council built mounds around Wild Park in an effort to deter travellers.
Work started on the prevention measures this week after more than 600 people signed a petition calling for councillors to act to stop caravans getting on the field in Lewes Road.
Residents said an almost continual flow of travellers in previous years had caused many in the community to avoid the park altogether and was an “unsightly” blight on the entire neighbourhood.
The petition, which received 638 signatures, was drawn up by members of local tenants’ and residents’ groups and was presented to the council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee last Tuesday by Labour councillor Anne Meadows.
Following the success of the community campaign coun Meadows said she was delighted the council had listened to residents.
She said: “They’ve been putting up with quite a lot of disturbance over the last few months and it’s really good for them to be able to enjoy the park in the summer.”
Lynn Burtenshaw, who was one of the lead campaigners, said: “We got about 600 people who signed the petition and then we got in touch with councillor Meadows and now we’ve seen some action, which is really good.
“The general consensus from residents is that when there are travellers in the park they won’t use it, and then it becomes a problem for the whole community.
“We’re extremely pleased that something has been done and just hopeful that the prevention will work.”
Her husband Barry, who is also chairman of the Lewes Road Consortium, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic after a long and strenuous battle with the council.”
He added: “If residents feel strongly about things then something should be done.”
Barbara Castleton, who lives near the park and regularly uses it to walk her dogs, added: “We’ve been campaigning for years to get something done to make Wild Park more secure.”
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council confirmed the mounds were in response to the petition.