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Sedbergh residents welcome tougher action on Horse Fair

January 15, 2010 12:00 AM

MP Tim Farron this morning chaired a meeting of police, council officials and local residents in Sedbergh to develop plans to prevent a repeat of last year's anti-social behaviour by a minority of travellers in the weeks preceding Appleby Horse Fair. The Horse Fair begins in the first week of June, but the anti-social behaviour plagued residents from 9 May onwards last year.

Tim said, "Last year, a minority of travellers camped for six weeks along the Cautley Road in Sedbergh intimidating residents and causing trouble. This unacceptable behaviour didn't just affect local residents, it also affected the overwhelming majority of the traveller community who behaved impeccably."

As a result of this morning's meeting, the following actions were agreed:

  • There will be controls and restrictions along the length of the Cautley Road to prevent a repeat of last year's inappropriate encampments. These controls will be publicised locally and throughout the traveller community so that they know that a repeat of last year's situation will not be permitted.
  • There will be an increased permanent police presence in Sedbergh and Cautley to prevent abuses and to reassure residents
  • As well as a visible uniformed presence, there will be detectives attached to the unit so that any criminal behaviour will be properly dealt with
  • There will be a dedicated 24 hour telephone number to give residents access to local police in the event that they have any concerns
  • A public event will be held in early March so that the local community can hear the full details of the improved plans and to give their views

After this morning's meeting, Tim said, "I am very encouraged by the response of the police and local councils. Last year's disaster must not be repeated - local residents should be protected, as should the majority of travellers who behave well. Intimidation and antisocial behaviour should not be tolerated."