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Time Called On Travellers

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Travellers who have been living on a grass verge have been ordered to move their vehicles by a judge.

The group, which includes three young children, were ordered to leave their spot on Hendrewen Road after having already moved from the grounds of the old hospital at Minffordd.

Two caravans and a car had been permanently parked on the verge for over three weeks.

Gwynedd Council officers served orders upon the group to move but they failed to do so, District Judge Gwyn Jones heard at Caernarfon magistrates’ court.

The hearing, which took place on Monday 17th March, was a resumption of the last case, after the group’s solicitor sought an adjournment for more evidence to be heard.

The McDonagh family’s reason for living on this particular spot was because the traveller’s site just on the outskirts of Bangor was full, and they wanted their youngest children to be settled in a school in Bangor.

Despite being informed when the court case would resume, no-one from the group appeared and the case was heard in their absence.

A spokesman for Gwynedd Council said they were just informed about the traveller’s presence by local residents complaining. Footpaths were needing to be closed due to the mess left by the family.

“The area was used as a lavatory and the council installed a portable toilet for their use,” he said.

The grass verge in which they were living on was maintained at a public expense as it was part of Gwynedd Council’s highway network.

Dafydd Jones, the council’s spokesman added that the council had undertaken a balancing exercise in order to consider the needs of both the travellers and the local community.

“We consider the local authority has carried out its statutory requirements in this case,” he said.

The court heard of all other attempts made to move the group on from the site, including a temporary area in Caernarfon being suggested. However, despite being served with an order to move by March 11th, the travellers stayed on the verge.

The judge agreed with all actions that the council had already taken, and served a notice with immediate effect.

“They have assessed the interests of this group and the interest of the local community and I make the order to remove the persons and the vehicles from the land in question,” he said.

After the hearing, Gwynedd Council’s senior housing manager Arwel Wyn Owen said: “We are pleased with the court’s decision today.

“We can confirm the council has 24 hours to serve the removal order and we will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure the respondents leave the designated land at Hendrewen Road, Bangor in accordance with the order.”

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Charlotte Parker

News Editor 2013/14

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