Waltham St Lawrence travellers 'want talks' over eviction

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A group of travellers facing eviction from an illegal camp in Berkshire say they are "willing to talk" to residents in a bid to resolve the situation.

Bailiffs were due to evict the 10 Gypsy families living at Shurlock Road in Waltham St Lawrence earlier but action has been suspended by the High Court.

One of the group blamed perceptions and stereotypes for bad feelings with locals and called for discussions.

But one of the residents claimed the travellers were playing the system.

Tom, who did not want to give his surname, said he did not think it was unfair to move the families on without an alternative home and claimed they only came to the area to make themselves money before being evicted.

He said: "If you go round the country this is just following the well known path and formula that travellers use."

'Leave school'

One of the travellers, called Albert, described the camp as a "home for our families".

"I don't think there's enough understanding, if people are willing to talk we are willing to talk," he said.

Another traveller, called Jane, said the group had considered trying to buy a plot of land at the site and set up a legal home.

"Usually local residents get together with the parish council and there's no way they would accept it."

The 10 families, who moved on to the site in December 2009, were served an eviction notice last week by the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead (RBWM) council.

But the High Court order prohibits RBWM from taking any direct action for the time being.

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