Two Brighton councillors have criticised the handling of the eviction of a group of travellers.
The Patcham ward councillors called for the group of about 50 vehicles to be moved off the playing fields at Braypool immediately.
He said that Braypool was a sensitive site which was used for sport and by the nearby RSPCA rescue centre as well as many local dog walkers.
About 50 caravans and other vehicles pitched up at the Braypool site on Friday (28 June) after being evicted from the playing fields at Waterhall.
He said that the group were not moved on over the weekend despite immediate calls from Conservatives for the council to ask the police use their powers to do so.
To make matters worse, he said, the council’s official transit site at Horsdean remains closed after months of expensive remedial works.
The site was broken into by a large group of travellers last Christmas, he said, and the Environment Agency has also been investigating the site.
The agency is looking into concerns that were raised about possible contamination of the drinking water aquifer that supplies Brighton and Hove.
Councillor Theobald said: “A number of local residents have contacted me expressing their disbelief that, once again, the police don’t seem to be taking any action against these travellers despite it being a clear case of them breaking on to land which they have no right to be on.
“Braypool flanks the main gateway into the city for many visitors and, quite frankly, it looks a complete mess with so many vehicles parked on it. They should be moved off immediately.
“I just hope they haven’t damaged the cricket pitches and I am very concerned about what will happen with upcoming fixtures scheduled for this week.”
Councillor Carol Theobald said: “When the travellers left the nearby Waterhall site, why on earth weren’t the council or the police deployed at other sensitive sites such as Braypool to prevent the travellers gaining access?
“It’s not exactly rocket science.
“If they are given the strong message that these playing fields and parks are off limits then they are much less likely to come back.”