Update at 20.00 on Friday 8th September
During this week advice and quotes have been obtained from several security companies. Various technical options are being considered for securing the south entrance against future incursions of this kind. It is intended that a final decision will be made on the best way to proceed later this month.
Update at 17.00 on Monday 4th September
This morning a team from Guildford Borough Council very efficiently collected all the rubbish collected from Saturday's clean-up operation. The legal process of securing a writ of possession had to continue despite the travellers' evident departure. Accordingly that writ was duly granted by Guildford County Court (having been uncontested) and was posted this afternoon at the site's entrance.
Update at 17.00 on Saturday 2nd September
Yesterday evening the last few caravans departed from the site, but very soon afterwards returned as one of them had suffered a puncture on the road. A number of residents had interpreted these movements as some sort of legalistic ploy, but that was not the case.
Trustees went to the site this morning shortly after 10am to begin clearing up the entire site. The travellers, having fixed their puncture during the morning, left abruptly at 12.10pm. They had themselves already put much of their refuse into bin bags. The clear-up continued almost non-stop until about 16.30, collecting altogether about fifty large refuse bags of mixed rubbish, including some excrement, two refridgerators, two picnic tables and a full-size metal bath. Several residents also helped and their contribution is much appreciated.
The rubbish has been piled compactly in one spot on the eastern boundary and steps will be taken on Monday morning to have it taken away. Fly-tipped greenery dumped at various places in the hedges and woodland will be tidied up in due course.
The gates have been re-secured but a more permanent and reliable solution will need to be implemented as soon as possible.
This has not been an easy ten days for the Trust, especially given the aggravating behaviour of a few residents, but the site is now virtually back to normal and we hope that everyone can now resume fully their enjoyment of the grounds in the summer sunshine.
Update at 20.00 on Friday 1st September
Most of the caravans have now left. At this time only about 4 remain and our expectation is that they too will depart before Monday. The advice from the Trust's solicitors is that at the hearing on Monday morning the judge will almost certainly grant a writ of possession compelling eviction of whichever travellers remain at the site at the time the Sheriff's officer - who has already been primed for this action on our behalf - arrives to execute the writ, irrespective of who they are and irrespective of what movements to and from the site may have occurred prior to that.
Update at 18.30 on Wednesday 30th August
It appears that some of the caravans have departed. All 11 caravans present today were visited by a Trustee and the occupants asked to desist from driving rapidly over the grass in order to protect the pitches in these rainy conditions.
There has been a certain amount of hedgerow fly-tipping which may well have been committed by people other than the travellers exploiting the situation.
The Trust has been in consultation with both Guildford Borough Council and Effingham Parish Council over the past 24 hours concerning the deposition of toilet waste and, more generally, the eventual task of clearing up the site after the travellers have departed.
An article in The Guildford Dragon today reports some outcomes of last Friday's incident and also states that the travellers are expected to leave on this coming Friday. If they have not departed by Monday then a writ of possession (to compel immediate eviction) will be sought that day from the court.
Update at 19.00 on Saturday 26th August
The possession order was served yesterday evening. The grounds were inspected this morning and no new problems were observed. A litter pick was conducted this afternoon, yielding only a very small amount of litter from the outlying grass areas; the pitches were already litter-free. The day appears to have been a very peaceful one. No arrests were made.
Update at 16.30 on Friday 25th August
Early this morning arrangements were agreed with Guildford Borough Council to deliver today refuse containers to the site to assist the task of minimizing the impact of the incursion as far as we can.
Just before 9am an Effingham resident (see yesterday's article in The Guildford Dragon) was arrested by the Surrey Police following a report that he was using a vehicle to obstruct the entrance to the site on the A246, and after being breathalysed he was taken into custody at Guildford Police Station to be questioned about several suspected offences. Details of this arrest have been published today in The Guildford Dragon. We emphasise again that residents should not exacerbate the situation at the KGV by trying to take matters into their own hands.
By 2pm the refuse containers from GBC had been delivered and action also taken to provide clean water. Besides their humanitarian aspect, actions of this kind help prevent the raising of welfare-related impediments to the execution of possession orders.
During the afternoon the Trustees had several discussions with various groups among the travellers. The area occupied by the caravans has so far been maintained in a reasonably clean and tidy state.
A possession order has been issued today by Guildford County Court and is in process of being served at the site. The court hearing for possession has been listed for the morning of 4 September - pressure on court schedules together with the coming Bank Holiday made it impossible to obtain an earlier date. However, we hope the travellers may have departed before that hearing takes place.
The Neighbourhood Policing Team intend there to be two visits made to the site each day by PCS Officers.
Update at 18.15 on Thursday 24th August
Precautions were taken last night to enhance the security of the building. As of this morning we have received no reports of new problems.
We have this morning been contacted by the local Neighbourhood Policing Team offering reassurance that they are closely monitoring the situation and that they will provide as much support as may be necessary in the processes that lie ahead.
Further steps in the legal process have been undertaken this afternoon and we are advised to expect that the courts will grant a possession order tomorrow (Friday) which will be served upon the travellers tomorrow.
Meanwhile residents are asked to be patient as these actions come into effect and not to get into the kind of situation on the KGV just reported by The Guildford Dragon.
Update at 20.00 on Wednesday 23rd August
As many residents will know there has been an incursion of travellers with caravans and other vehicles onto the KGV premises on 23rd August. They are currently situated along the eastern boundary.
Early this afternoon the Trustees, through their solicitors, initiated court proceedings for a possession order. They have also consulted appropriately with the Surrey Police, the Trust's insurers and various user groups and individuals.
Problems of this kind are not instantly solvable as legal process takes time. We ask that residents be patient meanwhile and do nothing to exacerbate the situation.
Any evidence or details that residents might possess concerning the original entry of the travellers onto the grounds should be forwarded to the Trust via this website's Contact page.