The cost of preventing travellers camping on our parks is too much for a council to afford, according to officials.

Bosses at Basildon Council say security measures to prevent travellers would cost around £600,000, something which they cannot fork out as they emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

If the measures were to be introduced, taxpayers would be lumped with a £300,000 bill, meaning a subsequent rise in council tax.

The council's plans to introduce security measures after the review has now fallen through due to the large costs, according to the deputy leader of Basildon Council, Kerry Smith.

Around 15 caravans arrived at the country park last week after driving up the A127 from Southend Rugby Club.

This comes only days after travellers pitched up at the Sporting Village leisure centre, who are believed to be the same group who left the Beacon Field Country Park in Langdon Hills on Sunday.


He said: "It would have cost £300,000 to the taxpayer, with the council cobbling around for the other £300,000.

"We simply don't have the money to do this.

"We looked at security measures earlier this year but Covid-19 got in the way.

"We need more funding from the Government if we want to beef up security for our parks.

"If we want to stop travellers illegally camping, the Irish Option needs to be passed.

"Our MP's need to support council's and get it signed off."

Basildon Council has been contacted for a comment.