Travellers confront villagers at Arlesey meeting

FURIOUS residents aired their grievances at a packed public council meeting following the controversial decision to place 10 travellers’ pitches in Arlesey.

The meeting, held on Wednesday, was chaired by town mayor, Hugh Harper, Central Bedfordshire ward councillors, John Street and John Saunders, and deputy mayor Ian Dalgarno.

The meeting reached boiling point when four travellers, all residents of an existing site in Arlesey, entered the Village Hall and labelled residents as “racist”.

Margaret Rooney, a traveller, said: “We haven’t done any harm to anyone here, would you hold this meeting if an African American moved into the village?

“I think everyone here is racist.”

Mr Harper said their remark was racist and asked them to withdraw it.

The travellers soon left and the meeting concluded with the assembled residents forming a steering committee to lobby Central Bedfordshire Council.