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Monday, September 20, 1999 Published at 17:03 GMT 18:03 UK

UK: Wales

New row over evicted gypsies

Gypsies have been removed from this site in Wrexham

The eviction of gypsies from an illegal camp in Wrexham has created a row over a new site.

A High Court writ was served on the Croesnewydd site in Wrexham, where they had been camped for 13 years.

[ image: Local people, businesses and organisations complained about the gypsies]
Local people, businesses and organisations complained about the gypsies
More than 100 police officers, bailiffs and council officials evicted the gypsies, whose presence next to the town's Maelor Hospital has been the focus of long-running complaints.

Gypsy families were told to move voluntarily or be shifted forcibly, and a 44-year-old man was arrested for verbally obstructing sheriff's officers carrying out the eviction order.

The gypsies first moved on to the site many years ago, just as a business park was being established.

'Not big enough'

The site grew and, although a smaller, official gypsy site was set up at nearby Ruthin Road, it was clearly not big enough.

[ image: The eviction was the latest episode of a long saga]
The eviction was the latest episode of a long saga
Many families chose to stay where they were and ignored last month's High Court order to leave.

Most of those forced to leave are now at the council's official camp at Ruthin Road.

However, one family has moved to another site at Caego, provoking claims that the problem of itinerants has simply been shifted elsewhere in the county borough.

Cllr Arnold Griffiths: "I anticipated this was going to happen some time ago "
Local councillor Arnold Griffiths said he had received many complaints from local residents who fear other itinerants will follow.

I have spoken to the officers and asked what contingency plans they have to deal with this," said Cllr Griffiths.

A spokesman for Wrexham council said the authority was considering what form of enforcement action is appropriate.

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