Travellers who were facing legal action over an unauthorised encampment at Salendine Nook have left the area - but a councillor has warned taxpayers will be left to pick up the bill for the mess they have left behind.

A lock on gates giving access to the fields, off New Hey Road, was broken and allowed travellers entry to the site earlier this week.

Now the caravans have moved on it has become apparent a mess has also been left behind, with waste which will have to be cleaned up by Kirklees Council .

Councillor Gemma Wilson, who represents the area, said that work would be done by environmental health officers, who would sterilise the site, which is used for sports activities.

Rubbish left by travellers at Celandine playing fields, Salendine Nook, Huddersfield.

Members of the public were discouraged from helping with that work because of the nature of the material, she said, meaning the bill would end up coming from the council’s budget, as would the cost of replacing the broken lock.

“The money spent on cleaning up could have been spent on funding in other areas,” she said.

Travellers back on Celandine Avenue playing fields for second time in two years

The situation was “frustrating” she said, because it was difficult to guard against unauthorised entry to sites when locks were broken or other damage done to gain entry.

Although police could take action where crimes were committed, if the culprit for the damage was not seen, there was little they could do, she added.

Rubbish left by travellers at Celandine playing fields, Salendine Nook, Huddersfield.

“We are aware of our vulnerable spots and are doing as much as we can to keep travellers out,” she said.

Kirklees Council confirmed last week they had started legal proceedings to have travellers evicted from the site, though that process normally takes around 10 days, meaning they left before being forced out.