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Travellers ordered to move on by Medway Council after moving from Strood to Rochester

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A group of travellers whose caravans disrupted market stallholders have been ordered to move once again.

But the head of the family, Patrick Maloney, who is battling cancer, will be allowed to stay.

The group have been on five sites in Medway since they came to the area in September.

Travellers in Commercial Road car park, Strood
Travellers in Commercial Road car park, Strood

The caravans moved on to the Strood market site in Commercial Road - angering traders who were furious at losing business at the busiest time of the year.

They were served a court order last week which meant they had to leave the site by 10am on Friday. Some caravans left immediately and the rest went late on Sunday.

The caravans then appeared at the car park in Gas House Road in Rochester for the second time.

Today the group has been served another order which means they must move on by 10am on Thursday.

However, Mr Maloney, who is in his 60s and is being treated for brain and lung cancer, is excluded from the order so he will be allowed to stay put.

It is thought his pregnant daughter Emily, 26, has already left the site.

Last week, Mr Maloney made a public plea to be allowed to stay.

He said: "Me and my sons have worked hard all our lives doing odd jobs and we are willing to pay for a place, but all we get is ‘move on, move on’ and served with court orders. We have never caused any trouble.”

There is only one designated travellers’ site in Medway at Cuxton, which is understood to be fully occupied.

Benjamin Salmon, political assistant, issued a statement on behalf of Cllr Peter Hicks, community safety boss.

He said: “As part of the preparation of its new local plan, the council is required to consider the needs of travellers and whether a new travellers site should be allocated.

“This work is being carried out by the planning policy team and is ongoing."

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