A Pompey Legends charity match is ‘100 per cent back on’ after travellers left a sports ground’s car park.
Travellers took up residence over the weekend at Fareham Leisure Centre’s car park in Park Lane and Cams Alders Recreation Ground off Henry Cort Way.
Following visits from council officers and Hampshire Constabulary yesterday, the group began to clear the car park at Park Lane.
But the group at Cams Alders did not respond as quickly and were issued with a Section 61 order from the police ordering them to depart the Cams Alders grounds last night – or they would be ‘forcibly’ removed by the police.
Last night they left – but began to set up camp at Wicor open space that’s set to be the car park for this weekend’s Rangers vs Pompey legends game.
Fareham council leader Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘They were dumping rubbish and sawed their way through the park’s bollards.
We can now breathe a sigh of reliefPaul Kelly, chairman of AFC Portchester
‘Thank goodness the police could issue this order.
‘It can cost us tens of thousands of pounds to clean up their mess at times.’
Council officers visited both sites over the weekend with Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service confirming that they had eight call-outs since Sunday.
A fire service spokesman said: ‘It is not just us, as when we go we have to take the police with us for safety reasons.
‘But we have to go each time there is a call in case it is genuinely a caravan on fire.
‘The problem is that is it usually just a bonfire that the public are seeing and quite rightly calling us with their concerns.’ The calls ranged from bushes being set alight to reports of bonfires.
Michael Zeffertt, 72, of Coghlan Close, said: ‘It is absolutely infuriating that they can just put themselves there, leading the council to having to spend taxpayers’ money to clean up their mess or to have to wait about four weeks to get a court order just to remove them.’