On the seafront, traders took matters into their own hands to protect their businesses and prevent travellers from camping on car parks.Well, the police will be happy they don't have to do anything again...
Peter Grubb, owner of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, decided to shut Shoebury Common car park himself after failing to reach anyone at Southend Council.
He said: “The travellers were going round and round trying to get on Shoebury Common.
“If I hadn’t been there to man the gates, we would have had an invasion at Shoebury.
“The council needs to look at its emergency procedures at the weekend because they are inadequate.”Oh, but they do come out eventually...to harass you:
Martin Richardson, of the Happidrome, used his own padlocks to lock the height barriers, which prevent large vehicles from getting into Seaway Car Park.
He said: “Southend Council knew the travellers were due down there but the barriers were open, so I got four padlocks and fitted them on the height barriers. We have to protect our business.
“They caused thousands of pounds of damage last year.
“Seafront traders were parking their cars sideways in front of a broken bit of fence at the Inner London Group site, only for a council official to eventually turn up and tell us we were breaking the law.”You couldn't make it up...
“The police handled it brilliantly, but how could the council have had no contingency plan?”Did they? I see no reports of arrests.