Praise for new security measures at Kenilworth parks to stop travellers

Cllr Pat Cain has praised the security measures installed in Kenilworth parks to deter travellers. Left: Bates Memorial Field. Right: St John's Playing Field
Cllr Pat Cain has praised the security measures installed in Kenilworth parks to deter travellers. Left: Bates Memorial Field. Right: St John's Playing Field

New security measures installed at Kenilworth parks to deter travellers from camping have been praised by a district councillor.

Cllr Pat Cain (Con, St John’s) went to look at the new measures this week, which were installed after Warwick District Council set aside £170,000 to improve security after a string of illegal encampments earlier this year.

Trip rails have gone up around St John’s playing fields, and security bollards have been installed at the entrances to Bates Memorial Field and Ebourne Recreation Ground all in an effort to stop travellers from easily accessing the parks.

Cllr Cain said: “I’m very pleased the council has taken these measures and I’m pleased something is being done for the residents.

“We just hoping that the deterrents work, but these places are supposed to be open and free for people to use.”

The news comes after travellers with around 20 caravans accessed Bates Memorial Field back in August, something which ‘shocked’ Cllr Cain at the time as she had never seen travellers access the park before.

She added: “We never thought travellers would camp on Bates Memorial Field, but they did. I was quite shocked when that happened.

“When you go home to your house and you see a van at the bottom of the garden, it’s quite scary.”

Security measures have not just been installed at parks in Kenilworth, but at many others around Warwick district.

These include Eagle Recreation Ground and Edmondscote Park in Leamington, which have had drop bollards installed, and The Holt and Sydenham Central, which now have trip rails.

Cllr Cain also stressed the district council were still looking at finding permanent sites in the district for travellers to live on.

In a previous Kenilworth Town Council meeting, Cllr John Cooke (Con, St John’s) said residents will ‘live in fear’ of further encampments if no new sites are found.