PARISH councillors have called a special meeting with police after gypsies caused more than £11,000 worth of damage in one year.

Grove Parish Council is hoping to find a permanent solution to the problem of travellers breaking onto the recreation ground, using it as a toilet and causing chaos in the area.

The special meeting this Tuesday has been called after the gypsies' latest visit last month ended up costing the council more than £7,000 in clean-up bills.

Parish council chairwoman June Stock said the group, who she described as Irish travellers, had caused trouble from the moment they arrived in Grove, initially pitching up on the green in the centre of the village behind Millbrook Square shops on Thursday, May 11.

Mrs Stock, who lives in Bosley's Orchard next to the green, described them turning up in 'luxury caravans, flash cars and expensive vans'.

She said: "They first pegged out their ponies then all the men have gone for a bath in the stream in their pants.

"All the people in the street phoned the police – some of them blew their tops, knowing their kids play in that field – we thought they were going to be there for days."

When the police arrived 10 minutes later the travellers immediately agreed to leave, offering apologies and excuses.

But just hours later the group defied police and broke onto the village recreation ground.

Mrs Stock said they used an angle grinder to get through heavy chains on the main gates off Denchworth Road and shifted the two huge concrete blocks specifically designed to stop vehicles getting in.

They drove through Wasborough Field, past the skate park, and parked their caravans, cars and vans at the bottom of the field used by Grove Rugby Club.

The next morning, Friday, parish council clerk Graham Mundy, accompanied by police, walked down and handed the travellers a notice to leave by 1pm on the Sunday.

The next three days tested villagers to their limit.

Mrs Stock said: "Some of their boys, aged 13 and 14, got hold of a car and were driving around the recreation ground all through the night both nights."

As a parting gift the gypsies left an abandoned car in the field, which was then set light to.

On the Sunday afternoon villagers got their first look at the state the field had been left in: pony faeces and human faeces; bits of wood scattered around; scorch marks in the grass; bin bags of rubbish and more rubbish scattered around the grass and bushes.

For safety reasons the council called out Rentokil to clean up.

The total cost, including 100 waste bags, removal of the car and a needle box was more than £7,000 including VAT.

In comes on top of another Rentokil bill for £4,000 following the last traveller visit in June 2016.

Mrs Stock said: "That's all got to come out of parish council reserves.

"We're annoyed because it's not the first it's happened plus the fact we had to pay for the clean-up."

The council has now arranged a meeting for June 20 with a traveller liaison officer from Oxfordshire County Council and a Thames Valley Police inspector.

Mrs Stock said: "It's a chance to discuss what happened, why it happened and why they weren't directed somewhere else.

"We want to know what could we do instead of directing them onto our land? Is there somewhere else in the district they could go?"

In the run-up to the meeting the council asked for anyone with comments or suggestions to contact the council by email on or by calling 01235 766599.