THE foundations of a new management office at a York travellers' site has been attacked with pick axes, a councillor has said.

Osbaldwick councillor Mark Warters said news of the attack at the site in Outgang Lane, Osbaldwick, had been reported to a parish council meeting by a police officer earlier this week.

He said the officer had said it was being investigated as a case of criminal damage.

Cllr Warters claimed that a previous site office at Osbaldwick - a portable building - had been stolen some years ago by being taken away on the back of a lorry.

He said he had been told by a reliable source that the new management office was strongly opposed by some of the residents on the site.

However, it had to be installed as part of an agreement with a Government agency which was helping to fund a controversial expansion of the site from 12 to 18 pitches.

He understood that traveller liaison officers from the council who covered the whole city were also set to be transferred to the office from their current base in Ordnance Lane.

Cllr Warters said he believed the axe attack was just the latest example of City of York Council 'losing control' of the site, where concerns were raised by residents at a packed public meeting last year about alleged anti-social behaviour, fly tipping, the burning of items and the blocking of a public footpath.

Tom Brittain, York council’s head of housing services, said: “Minor damage to a couple of courses of bricks was reported by the contractor to the police.

"Site security is the responsibility of the contractor who we are talking to alongside ongoing discussions with local tenants about the benefits of having an onsite community centre which includes providing space for private meetings, training or advise sessions as well as on-site management."

He added: "This incident won’t affect the project’s opening.”