A HUGE youth football tournament for hundreds of children will take place this weekend after the council quickly took care of a traveler encampment.
This week, the public space once again welcomed a group of travellers, with similar issues beginning to surface – including criminal damage to the grounds fence, excrement around the site and abusive behavior towards locals.
It prompted a statement from Highworth Town Juniors Football Club, which suffered thousands of pounds in damage in last year’s incident, criticizing the borough council for its inaction on Tuesday.
But after the caravans were removed from public space later in the evening, the club released a new statement on Wednesday which praised the swift efforts of local authorities.
It read: “Everyone at Highworth Town Juniors would like to thank Highworth Town Council for their hard work and quick actions in moving a group of travelers who were at our site late last night.
“Once the cleanup is complete, we now look forward to seeing our teams compete in the Senior Sections Youth Football Tournament this weekend.”
A spokesperson for Swindon Borough Council said in response: ‘We are pleased this incident has been dealt with so quickly.
“We would like to thank Wiltshire Police and Highworth City Council for their work and cooperation over the past 48 hours.
“Our Streetsmart team will now be working with partners to ensure the site is cleaned up and we will look at how we can help improve security on the site in the future.”
A metal barrier has been installed on part of the boundary of the green after last year’s problems.
This was supposed to prevent future unwanted encampments from appearing on the lower recreation ground, but proved ineffective as the wooden fencing links around the solid structure were broken instead so that caravans could gain access to the site.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Highworth Rec was once again clean and safe for the public.
A spokesperson for Highworth Town Council said: ‘The recreation ground has now been assessed and cleared, please feel free to visit and enjoy.
A group of travelers were reportedly seen in Marlborough shortly after the exodus from Highworth.