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Travellers lose battle to stay at Barnstaple's Rock Park

Travellers have lost their battle to stay in Rock Park in Barnstaple.

Police have escorted travellers to the county boundary to ensure there is no attempt to set up elsewhere in the town. Barnstaple Town Council yesterday obtained a ‘writ of possession’, which would have been enforced by the High Court Sheriff’s Office tomorrow. It is likely that the prompt action of agencies across the town curtailed the travellers’ stay significantly, as reports suggested they had intended to remain until Sunday.

I am relieved to tell you that the travellers left Rock Park last night, shortly after 6.00pm. They were escorted to the county boundary near Tiverton by Devon and Cornwall Police. The timing was in some ways fortunate as the High Sheriff’s Enforcement Officer was due to attend this morning at 9.00am to evict the group, forcibly if necessary. The cost of this action has been avoided. It may be that the travellers - whom I understand had said they would stay until Sunday and possibly then to relocate to another site in Barnstaple – were aware of this intended action and moved on voluntarily to avoid the spectacle of a forced eviction.

The park has this morning been cleared of litter and other items left by the travellers. The adjacent football pitch has been cleared of horse faeces and the grass cut. It is helpful that much of the clear-up has been carried out as part of the routine grounds maintenance activity at the park, as this helps to keep costs to a minimum. Some further work is required, including the assessment of damage to the trees, but the area of the park occupied by the travellers is now available for the public to use. I am very sorry for any inconvenience caused to visitors to the park during the encampment, although I do hope people will recognise that we acted as quickly as possible to restore the park to full use.

– Barnstaple Town Clerk

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Barnstaple residents narrowly avoid flooding

Barnstaple residents narrowly avoid flooding Credit: ITV News West Country

Residents of Springfield Road in Bickington near Barnstaple have had water rushing under their houses overnight and narrowly avoided being flooded. Blocked drains combined with heavy rain saw their gardens flooded. The water level reached the porches of the properties but didn't get inside. It's the third time that it's happened in a year despite the drains being cleaned last month. They now want a permanent solution to be found.

Heavy rain caused drains to flood in Barnstaple Credit: ITV News West Country

Man versus train across Devon

Man has beaten train today in a race between Exeter and Barnstaple.

Graham Moir set off on his bike at the same time as the 8.42am train left St Davids Station.

Amazingly Graham won, completing the journey in 1 hour 27 minutes. That was four minutes faster to Barnstaple Square than fundraisers for the Children's Hospice South West, who were onboard the train.

Graham hopes his challenge will raise £2000 for the charity:

Demonstration over council cuts in Barnstaple

People affected by the planned changes to care services and libraries are protesting at the rally Credit: ITV News

Hundreds of demonstrators have turned out in Barnstaple protesting against cuts to council budgets.

The North Devon authority needs to save 27 million pounds next year. And it's care services that are likely to be affected.

Sir Nick Harvey MP has called the planned cuts 'appalling' Credit: ITV News

Sir Nick Harvey MP has called the planned cuts 'appalling' and is asking why Devon County Council is sat on £129M worth of reserves while the most vulnerable are suffering.

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Reality of WWI brought to life by Devon schoolchildren

The 100th anniversary of the start of World War One is less than three weeks away. But what happened back in 1914 must seem like ancient history to our school children.

At Sticklepath Community Primary School in Barnstaple pupils are performing a play written especially for them.

It's brought the grim reality of war to life and given them a real connection to events a century ago.

Seth Conway reports:

Arson suspect wanted by police in Barnstaple

Do you recognise this man? Police need help from the public to identify him Credit: Devon & Cornwall Police

Police are trying to trace the man seen in this CCTV image in connection with an alleged arson attack at a North Devon service station.

The incident happened at Fishleigh Rock Service Station in Umberleigh in the early hours of Monday April 21st. The footage was taken at 2.43am.

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