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Division over large traveller community in Nottinghamshire town

todayJune 18, 2022 1

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Newark is well known for its traveller community, who have been established in and around the town for many years. With Newark and Sherwood Council set to apply for a further 118 pitches, the Nottingham Post decided to see what it was like in this Nottinghamshire town.

Many Newark residents welcome the traveller community and feel that they are an important part of the town, but others have concerns about their presence. Retired, Rob Parlett, 70, grew up in Newark and said: “I think it affects the value of properties if they live down that end, you would be struggling to sell your house if you are near to it.”

He added: “The police haven’t got the resources to sort them out. I’ve seen them in pubs in big gangs and its not long until the police turn up.” Carer, Rodger Mcminn, 41, of Newark, “I think Newark town is great, I’ve been here all my life, but sometimes they bully people into things and they leave things everywhere.”

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Similarly Retired, Lesley, 60, of Newark, said: “I think that sometimes people are frightened of the traveller community. I think we get them in all societies.”

Lesley continued: “I don’t think personally that we should judge a whole community, we should just judge individuals. I think probably when there’s some feuds going on between families that can spill on into the community. It’s like a religion.”

Newark resident, Andrea, 67, added: “I’ve got no problems with the traveller community at all except that some of them are just disruptive and have no respect for the town or other residents. You just feel uncomfortable walking past a group of them.”

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Many members of the traveller community enjoy living in Newark, and often other members of the community stop in the area when passing through. Recently a group of Irish travellers came to the town, where they stayed for just under a week.

Irish traveller, Micheal Folley, 38, said: “We’ve been very happy with the people in Newark. They have come down and have given us wheelie bins and black bags and they are so kind, but we are only passing through.” Fellow traveller, Micheal Keeley, 65, added: “It’s a beautiful place and lovely people, very friendly.”

The relationship between Newark residents and the traveller community doesn’t appear to have changed in recent years, and many residents welcome the possibility of more pitches being added. This could include more pitches at Tolney Lane, as well as new sites on Trent Lane, Belvoir Ironworks and at Chesnut Lodge, Barnby.

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Newark resident, Paul Cornish, 65, said: “The more the better, it would bring more people into Newark.” HR advisor, Andrea, 33, of Newark, said: “When they are all together on a site they are nice and friendly and look after each other. However when you start bringing that community into country areas where they feel they are not wanted, it could cause problems.

Market stall trader, Claire, 53, of Newark, said: “If they are near the town then they have access to all the facilities and that is important. If they are already in a place just to spread out a bit more makes sense. Moving to a new place like Barnby, I think could be a pressure on resources, and it’s using green sites when we should be conserving more of the countryside and wildlife.”

When asked their thoughts on the plans, another Newark resident said: “It seems like a good idea as there’s plenty of them.” However, some residents are unhappy with the possibility of more pitches being added.

Newark resident, Graham, 66, said: “It seems to be that Newark has a high number of traditional travellers. They ought to consider the whole county, not just Newark.” Balderton resident, Karen, 58, said “I don’t think we need any more, I don’t mind them, they just don’t tidy their mess up, they just leave rubbish.” Similarly, a Newark resident said: “I don’t think we need any more, they cause enough problems.”

Written by: thehitnetwork

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