COUNCILLORS have pleaded with travellers to move on after they settled on the Pangbourne meadows this week, a move which could cost the council thousands.

A group of ‘no more than 20’ travellers have parked six caravans on Pangbourne Parish Council (PPC) owned land on Wednesday night (June 13), after a chain was cut on an external gate leading to the site. 

Pangbourne Parish Council could be forced to pay nearly £8,000 in solicitors and bailiff fees if the travellers do not move on. 

PPC Chairman Rob Holden was accompanied by two police officers last night (June 13) as he met the travellers to ask them to leave. 

Mr Holden said the meeting was 'amicable and friendly', whilst an Order to Evict was handed to the travellers.

Mr Holden believes came from a settlement in Richfield Avenue, Reading. 

He said: “They (the travellers) haven’t caused any trouble in the village at all. They’re not chucking litter everywhere and they’ve not been too much trouble.

“We’ve been lucky as we haven’t had travellers on our land for many years.”

Mr Holden also gave advice to Pangbourne’s locals. He said: “Go about your business in the normal way, leave themselves to themselves and don’t antagonise them.”

The Parish Council are consulting with a PC who is dedicated to the case and will advise the Parish Council as the situation develops.

The Parish Council has also consulted with West Berkshire Council’s Traveller Liaison Officer Jean Pimley and the Thames Valley Police. 

In neighbouring authorities, West Berkshire councillors have dealt with 22 cases of illegal encampment since the start of May. 

Dozens of caravans were settled next to Portman Road in Reading having arrived on May 16. Reading Borough Council spent around £95,000 on dealing with illegal traveller camps in 2017.