A TRAVELLER has hit back after being accused of disrespecting a Flintshire community.
The criticisms came after travellers were blamed for huge amounts of rubbish left behind at a makeshift camp.
Furniture, tiles and a bathroom suite were among the items left at the site where as many as 30 caravans had set up camp at Maes Gwern in Mold. The caravans left on Monday night.
Josh Fiddler, one of those who had been living at the site, said the travellers were not responsible for the rubbish.
“People probably won’t believe us but most of was already there when we got there,” he said.
Mr Fiddler, a painter and decorator, said the travellers’ lifestyles did not lend itself to building work and so they could not have been responsible for large amounts of masonry waste.
He said: “We’re painters, we do things like clear guttering or landscaping. None of us are builders.”
He also pointed out a large sofa dumped at the site was not something that would fit into their small living space.
“Even a lot of the tree rubbish is old,” he said. “It’s there from last year. You can tell it’s old.”
He added: “The council knows businesses come around tipping. They’ve seen them doing it.”
Mr Fiddler said despite promises from the council that bin bags would be collected while the travellers were there, it never happened even thought they made numerous phone calls to the local authority.
The travellers, who pay Flintshire Council for portable toilets brought to the site, asked for a skip to put rubbish in but were told that wasn’t possible.
“How much would it cost them to bring a skip? They know they’re going to have a problem but they don’t seem to want to work with us.
“They leave it because they can use it as an excuse not to build a site.”
In 2006, Flintshire Council offered to find another site for the travelling community but nothing has materialised.
Mr Fiddler said he accepted some of the rubbish would have been left by travellers.
“There are 16 of our trailers,” he said. “By the time we left, there were 30.
“I don’t know everyone and travellers are not perfect, like anyone else, but if the council didn’t collect rubbish from council houses, you’d have the same problem there. Where do you put it?”
Travellers are not able to use council household recycling centres because commercial vehicles are not permitted at the sites.
Steve Jones, Flintshire Council’s chief officer, Streetscene and transportation, said yesterday: “The council is not aware of non-travellers targeting traveller sites to dump their own waste.”