RESIDENTS have reacted with dismay after scorched fridges, garden waste and filled nappies were left dumped in the wake of an illegal encampment in Wichelstowe.

Swindon Borough Council and the police went to the courts to move on the group of travellers from fields between Mannington roundabout and Scott Way, near Rushey Platt, last week.

Today, the only reminder of the latest illegal camp was more than a dozen mounds of dumped waste, including evidence that the travellers had tried to burn what appeared to be fridges. Empty McDonald’s wrappers, gas cylinders, garden waste and used nappies also littered the fields.

Swindon Advertiser:

The scorched remains of what appeared to be fridges Pictures: ADVER

Resident Fiona Scott said: “You’ve got to come up with some kind of better strategy to deal with this. All the entrances and exits that can practically be closed off have been closed off.”

She added: “The one thing that worries me is they’d been burning fridges. That’s the first time it’s happened, to my knowledge.

“I’m not a chemical expert; I don’t know if that is releasing toxic gasses. If we have an item like that we take it to the tip and it’s dealt with properly by them.”

Swindon Advertiser:

Garden waste and other litter in the field (above) and gas cylinders in the field (below)

Swindon Advertiser:

Ms Scott questioned whether the punishment was severe enough for those who fly tip the waste – or pay to have it removed. “What are the penalties?” she asked. “Are we as council tax payers picking up the bill for this continual cleaning up? There must be tonnes of rubbish there.”

Brian Ford, councillor for Wroughton and Wichelstowe and a member of the borough council’s ruling cabinet, said he would ask officers what was being done to take the rubbish dumpers to court.

“We’re going to try and see if we can close it [the site] off so they can’t actually get on there so easily,” he told the Adver, but acknowledged there was “no guarantee” of success.

“We’re going to have to investigate what we can do. We can’t let this carry on.

“What I would like to see is that these people are found and taken to court for doing it.”