COUNCIL officers face another round of court action to evict travellers.

Groups of travellers have set up on a popular park in the heart of Mirfield.

Angry residents and councillors have demanded that Kirklees Council take prompt action to shift them from Knowl Park but have been told there will be no court hearing until July 8.

It is believed the travellers were among a large number evicted on Thursday from a playing fields site in Liversedge.

They were evicted from land off Primrose Lane, Littletown – due to be used this weekend for part of the Cleckheaton Folk Festival.

Council officers called in police to assist in the eviction.

A spokesman said: “The police can use special powers to move an encampment if there are extreme circumstances involved.

“The fact that the festival relies on its campsite to be available for its survival meant that these special powers could be invoked.

“Unfortunately, this avenue is not available with respect to the new encampment at Knowl Park and this application has to go through the court process in the normal way with the first available court date being the morning of July 8.”

Organisers of the folk festival said it would go ahead.

Festival director David Minich said: “Everything is as normal. Campers can go to the site. There are no problems. Kirklees Council has been fantastic in clearing up the site.”

After the eviction, some of the travellers with caravans and lorries occupied the Cliff Road car park in Dewsbury.

But they left on Thursday night, and about 9.30pm set up camp at Knowl Park in Mirfield.

Early on Friday, a smaller group occupied land used each summer for the New Mill fairground, off New Mill Road but left after a few hours.

Mirfield residents are angry as the park has recently undergone a major renovation, with a new play area for children, and a multi-purpose sports area.

Local councillor Martyn Bolt said: “I’m very concerned about the damage that could be caused to the park – especially in light of recent investment in facilities for young people, including a games area and a skate park. It is also the time of year that families want to use the park and they cannot do so.

“The travellers could be there for days and we need to take possession as fast as we can.”

The council are seeking an eviction notice from Huddersfield County Court.

Some groups have suggested the council should use Common Law powers and bring in private bailiffs to carry out evictions within 24 hours, but a Kirklees spokesman said it was not appropriate for a local authority to do that.

It is legislation that can be used where occupied land is privately owned.