Pub facing '˜hell' over Leamington Traveller camp

Business owners have spoken out about a 'nightmare' week of abuse and intimidation after an unlawful Traveller camp was set up in Newbold Comyn.

Thursday, 7th April 2016, 11:29 am
Updated Thursday, 7th April 2016, 11:51 am

Sarah Miller, who runs the Newbold Comyn Arms said she has been left “completely helpless” after around eight families parked in the public space last Wednesday.

Complaints have since come in of caravans blocking off the council-owned site, and groups of men intimidating and threatening anyone who tries to use the space or pass through it.

A council notice ordering the unlawful camp to leave the site was ignored and a court hearing is now set for Monday.

But for the Newbold Comyn Arms, which is served by the car parks and play area, the problems are only “getting worse”.

Ms Miller said she has been left with no choice but to close early and even turn customers away as parents feel unsafe letting children play outside.

She said: “There is just nothing being done. I am losing business and my female staff are too scared to work at night because of what has been said to them.

“We have been threatened and shouted at, and customers have turned up visibly shaken after being shouted abuse at on their way into the pub.

“The men are blocking off the car park and claiming it as their own. They are very aggressive and frightening.

“There are a lot of children who are in the playground and also acting very aggressively.

“Families are too scared to come here, we are having to tell customers they should stay indoors and seeing big parties cancel as a result.

“It is a nightmare and we have had no help at all. I have had to close early and nobody is compensating me for that.

“These people are breaking the law and the council and the police are letting them.

“We are accepting of their way of life, but they have no regard or respect for ours and we can do nothing about it. We are at the mercy of the courts.”

Warwickshire Police has been on site to deal with problems, reportedly persuading families to move caravans from completely blocking access to the car park.

On March 30, Warwick District Council issued a notice for travellers to be off the public site within 24 hours. A court summons was issued and legal action is now the only way to move on the travellers.

A Warwick District Council spokesperson said on Monday: “With reference to the group of travellers at the car park for the pub and golf course at Newbold Comyn. They have been served with the court paperwork this morning and the court hearing is on Monday April 11.”