BOSSES at a chip shop in the Scarborough area are taking the drastic step of shutting up shop during next year’s Seamer Horse Fair.
Sue Green, the joint owner of Crossgates Fish and Chip Shop, said the problems she had experienced this year had been worse than ever.
She said: “We had to close the cafe because I couldn’t control them in the cafe. I’d already had trouble with them – they caused a bit of nuisance and some went without paying.
“I am closing the whole shop for a week next year. Financially I can’t afford it but I am not putting my staff through that again.”
She said there were problems with bad language and her regular customers felt intimidated and had kept away while the travellers were there. She added: “I showed the travellers respect, as I would to any customer, I can’t see why they disrespected me.”
Brian Thompson, of Bell Close, said one of his neighbours was narrowly missed by a lemonade bottle which was thrown by traveller youths. He added: “When he asked the youths not to climb over our perimeter fence at first they complied but later came over in droves, foul mouthed and noisy and broke all his flower pots.”
The horse fair was held on Friday with an official site on council-owned land, to the north of the B1261 between Seamer and Crossgates, open for a total of 10 days.
Andy Skelton, Scarborough Council’s head of environmental services, said council staff had consulted with travellers and the police and next year the site will be open for just seven days.
He said: “In consultation with the police we’ve started provisional planning for next year’s event. It will be for a shorter period. As each traveller left they were given a leaflet advising them when it will be open next year.”
Mr Skelton said he was satisfied that the site had fulfilled its purpose which was to contain the travellers and to minimise the risk of caravans setting up camp elsewhere.
He said: “Travellers were told that the site must be vacated by 6pm on the day of the fair and the last traveller left the site at 6.08pm – having been delayed by a mechanical breakdown.
“Council staff were able to get on the site to commence the clean up before the travellers left and the site was cleansed by lunchtime on Saturday.”
Acting Superintendent Dave Foster, who was in charge of the 10 day police operation, said the fair went as well as could be expected. He added: “The policing operation was put in place to ensure the fair had as little affect on the local community.
“The fair itself was very trouble free and it was busy during the day. Visitor parking was within the site and didn’t impact on the local community.”
He said that there were increased police patrols in the area and officers tried to respond quickly to incidents to reassure the public. He added: “Where incidents did take place we responded very quickly and we had a high police presence during the whole 10 days.”
Acting Supt Foster said that one additional problem this year was the fact that the fair was on a Friday. He said: “We had to make sure that the site closed on the 15th without people stopping for the weekend or for the week.”