For residents in Rawreth and more specifically the Priory Chase area – they could be thinking that it’s Groundhog Day as Travellers have illegally set up camp for the 5th (I’m running out of fingers) time on the land behind Rayleigh Leisure Centre.

For those unfamilar with the area it’s the field that is behind Rayleigh Leisure Centre.

I’ve received several messages from anxious residents about the number of travellers as initially there were 6 caravans but now the numbers have increased to over 20 so I’m informed.

The usual action follows – I call Council, they tell me they have informed Essex Traveller Unit, Police and other partners, Council applies for notice to leave, Travellers leave, Council clears up rubbish etc…. Yes it’s Ground Hog day for sure!

I am always happy to help residents but like them, I’m at the end of my tether with this and it’s needless stress, anxiety and cost for our residents. I’ve now written to the Acting Managing Director and Council Leader requesting a meeting between them and the residents so that all sides can be listened to and hopefully some positive action can be taken by the Council to prevent a 6th incursion. The residents are demanding better and I don’t blame them!

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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