Council officials were today in a race against time to move a group of gypsies off a Melton car park before market traders arrive tomorrow for the town’s traditional busiest day of the week.
The travellers arrived in more than a dozen large caravans yesterday (Sunday) and their vehicles have taken up around a third of the parking spaces in one of the town centre’s busiest car parks, off Burton Street.
Ironically, the gypsies have moved on to a site directly in front of Melton Council’s offices - they are understood to be staying in the town en route to a popular annual horse fair in Cumbria.
Jim Worley, the council’s head of regulatory services, said the authority was working with the Multi Agency Traveller Unit (MATU), an organisation made up of local authorities in Leicestershire and police officers, in an attempt to resolve the situation swiftly.
Mr Worley said: “Our first reports that the gypsies had moved on to the car park came at 3pm on Sunday and we have been informed they are passing by on their way to the Appleby fair.
“We want them to leave by 5am on Tuesday morning because that is when the market traders begin arriving and when there is a big demand for parking spaces in that car park.
“Representatives of MATU are on their way to us today and we hope to be able to solve the situation as quickly as possible.”