Glenrothes braced for yet more summer traveller woes

Glenrothes is set to experience more of the  same this year when it comes to illegal  traveller sites in the town.
Glenrothes is set to experience more of the same this year when it comes to illegal traveller sites in the town.

Glenrothes is bracing itself for a repeat of last year’s summer of torment with the threat of more illegal traveller encampments in the town.

Fife Council confirmed in March that its efforts to find suitable temporary sites to accommodate the yearly influx of travellers had proved unsuccessful.

No one wants illegal encampments in their neighbourhood, but the problem is no one wants legal, managed seasonal sites either

John Mills, head of housing services

John Mills, head of housing services, confirmed that a report on new possible sites won’t be completed for several months.

Residents are likely to face a repeat of the problems of 2014 when the town suffered 13 illegal encampments costing the Council £45,000 in legal and clean up costs.

“No one wants illegal encampments in their neighbourhood, but the problem is no one wants legal, managed seasonal sites either,” said Mr Mills.

“We’ve been trying for some years to identify suitable locations around Fife for seasonal gypsy traveller sites, but all the sites we’ve proposed have met with opposition.

“Until we can establish these sites the problem of unauthorised encampments will continue.”

Glenrothes has already had three illegal encampments in the last month with travellers moved on from open land in Caskieberran, known locally as Bumblebee Park, in May and evicted from Lochty Meadows on Thursday.

Travellers added to resident’s woes at the weekend when they pitched up on land in Southfield on Sunday, close to the Glass Fibre factory.

Fife Council has faced criticism from community groups and business leaders over its failure to find a solution.

“The Council met with the Scottish Government and police last year to discuss ways of dealing with the issue but 12 months on we are no further forward,” said Peter Scobie, chairman of Pitteuchar, Stenton and Finglassie Community Council.

“However, Fife Council must be commended for the speed in which they issued legal notice to evict the travellers in this instance,” added Mr Scobie.

Toilet waste dumped on site before illegal travellers moved on again

Illegal travellers dumped the contents of a chemical toilet on land they were occupying before fleeing the site as Fife Council secured the neccessary legal paperwork to move them from land at Lochty Meadow.

Pitteuchar, Stenton and Finglassie Community Council chairman Peter Scobie discovered the human waste, dumped in a hedgerow, when inspecting the damage to the site.

“This sort of behviour is unacceptable - it’s the sort of thing that we are left to pay to clean up,” said Mr Scobie. “The Council has acted quickly to move the travellers but that is small comfort when you see this.”