Mike Ash, Acting Corporate Director, Communities and Housing , Swindon Borough Council attended the Environment, General Purpose and Amenities Parish Council meeting on Monday 19th February. Mike provided an update to the meeting on the latest improvement to security at the Chiseldon Firs Transient Travellers site.

 Security  upgrade:

At the entrance to the site a series of larger concrete blocks each weighing 2.8 tonnes have been put in place , the blocks are bolted together to create a continuous barrier . The current blocks each weigh 2 tonnes have also been left in place. This forms a double layer of barriers to the site from the A346.

A trench has also been dug  in the surrounding area to prevent access to the site via the fields. The landowner has also agreed to  dig a trench on their side of the fence line. Additional security is also being placed on site.

 Relevance of the site:

The Borough Council must legally retain a transient traveller site within the Borough.  For legal entries a deposit is paid, and proof of ID taken.  Most legal entries stay for 2-4 weeks and move on without issue.

The most recent entries were illegal entries and SBC work with the police, the courts and the Parish Council to get a possession order to allow them to reclaim the land.  This is assuming mediation is not successful.

 Site condition and appearance:

Following the recent illegal occupation of the the Firs site SBC has carried out a full clean up of all rubbish, abandoned vehicles and skips have been removed. The toilet block is also being repaired

Keeping the Community informed:

Mike Ash and his team will continue to provide the Parish Council with regular updates and information on the Firs Site, including any new occupants, legal or illegal.

Community feedback:  

if residents observe any activity on the Firs travellers site , please notify the Parish Clerk and the police immediately , please don’t assume that by posting a notice on the Chiseldon Parish Facebook site it will automatically be picked up by the local authority . This Facebook site is not administered by the Parish Council.