RESIDENTS Southampton "have had enough" after travellers set up camp in their community for the fifth time in just four months.

Yesterday civic chiefs ordered the travellers to leave the site at the Veracity Recretation Ground.

It came after Southampton City Council installed concrete blocks to "try and prevent further access" to the site.

Now the council has begun installing permanent measures to "protect the Veracity Ground from illegal encampments in the future"

Daily Echo:

City councillor Eamonn Keogh said action taken by the local authority should protect the ground in the future.

He said: "It is unfortunate that this is the fifth time since April that we have had such an incursion.

"I've lived here for 30 years and don't remember it happening before. The council have started permanent works and although I'd have liked them to start sooner, there are logistics involved which take time.

"Once the permanent works are done, it should protect the site.

"I know local residents have had enough and feel considerable frustration and upset that we as a council have allowed this to happen again, but once the works are complete we can get back to normality."

Southampto Itchen MP Royston Smith said the encampments were costing tax payer's money and called for the council to act quicker.

He said: “Every time these illegal incursions happen the taxpayer is left out of pocket.

Daily Echo:

"It’s more than protecting green spaces, it’s about having a strategy to deal with this trespass and move the travellers on quickly.

"But failing to deal with the issue these illegal encampments will continue and increase.

"The council need a more robust strategy to deal with these illegal incursions and this must happen on the day of their arrival to start an eviction process. It needs to be made publicly clear that the illegal incursions will not be tolerated and whenever they turn up, they should be moved straight away."

Daily Echo:

A spokesperson for Southampton City Council said: "We are aware that a group of travellers have set up an unauthorised encampment on the Veracity Ground site.

"The area of land is managed by a charity – Active Nation – who will instigate the legal process to remove the encampment.

"We are working actively with partners to ensure the travellers leave the site as soon as possible."

A spokesperson for Hampshire Police said: "At this time, this is a matter for the council and/or land owner."