Special report: Blot on the Landscape

Blot on the Landscape

Travellers have taken over in Holbeck. Guess as individuals they are ok but as a collective they are a nuisance. For the past month local residents have had to put up with noise, vandalism and inconvenience from them.

Horses have been left to roam over grass verges have trampling down recently planted flower beds, dogs allowed to rum amok. One person ended up in hospital as a result of being attacked by one of the dogs.

According to reports, piles of rubble have been dumped, the remnants of private drives and pathways recently tarmacked.

When will so called ‘do gooders’ wake up to the plight of ordinary citizens struggling to pay bills and live in harmony with their neighbours. Human rights should work both ways and balance out the rights of all.

Sadly for us Holbeckians these travellers have changed the face of Holbeck forever. The Day Centre closed two years ago and offered by the council to local community groups is now unusable.

Walls damaged. electricity and gas cables ripped out and copper pipes stolen. Holbeck Elderly Aid were almost at the point of taking over this centre and bringing a much needed facility back into community use.

Alas this project will doubtfully ever take place due to the astronomical costs now needed to repair the centre. The South Leeds Sports Centre recently underwent a similar fate thanks to the travellers and will according to reliable sources most likely need to be demolished.

We must call time on these unsociable, unaccountable families and they should be made to face up to their actions and held accountable by the authorities.

Holbeck has always welcomed travelling people and has a history of being hospitable, many such families have settled within our community and are valued.


About Voice of Holbeck

We're a local residents' group which meets regularly to discuss local issues in the area
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2 Responses to Special report: Blot on the Landscape

  1. Sue Talbot says:

    Let’s be clear: Traveller families did not close Holbeck Day Centre or South Leeds Sports Centre. Leeds City Council closed Holbeck Day Centre and South Leeds Sports Centre.
    I would be interested to see your evidence (rather than assertion) that Gipsy and Traveller families have rendered either site ‘ unreburbishable.’ As a Beeston resident my perceptionis that it is Leeds City Council (in common with other councils ) that has failed to provide sufficient sites to accommodate Traveller families. That is a fault of both Labour and Tory administrations, but much more noticeable since the Tory 2009 government.
    The Travelling community is a community that travels (the clue’s in the name) It has been pushed to the margins since other human bands became more settled.And yet , The history is there in local road names and in ditties- ‘Gipsy Lane’ , which leads into the woods; “My mother said, I never should, play with the gipsies in the woods…’
    For centuries, woods and common lands were open spaces. They weren’t owned by anyone. They were shared by all. The establishment of land ownership was a gradual process and is a very recent notion in human history. It’s involved both settlement and forced removal. For most of of our history ( the common heritage of European, Asian and African people – and many people’s present) we have been – willing and unwilling – travelling bands.
    Traveller, Gipsy and Roma communities are people who continue live in the way that now-settled communities once did. As we all did.
    In the C21, if there were sufficient and flexibly provided sites, Traveller families wouldn’t be forced to camp on the urban fringes – the wastelands and urban spaces. they would have enough decent places and spaces.
    But it’s also worth remembering that the places that we, town dwellers, see as ‘our’ spaces have not always been so. Holbeck Moor was a moor, a wild space, long before it became a village/suburban/town park. It has a proud history as a place on the margins. We, impoverished town dwellers, – who have mostly forgotten our rural,never mind travelling, roots – should feel privileged that, occasionally, we are reminded of our common heritage, and can welcome travellers.
    We, townies, might also talk about shared spaces in towns and villages – not as just areas of grass and concrete, but of buildings and ‘infrastructure’ that can be owned in common.This is a level of explanation that settled people have taken granted. The ruling class don’t. They never have done. Instead they set up ‘legitimate’ (and often imaginative) ways of nicking it all from the rest of us. Meanwhile, we’re squabbling with people who are as poor , and usually much poorer, than us. Let’s talk about change.

    • Jim Morgan says:

      Sue, I can only assume by your comments that you haven’t had anything stolen from your property, nor have been unable to walk your dog on Holbeck Moor Park without the fear of being attacked by one of the free roaming “Travellers” dogs? For the record I have……..

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