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Unauthorised traveller encampments on council land

Published on Tuesday, 25th October 2016

Like many local authorities across the country, we have recently experienced a significant number of illegal traveller encampments.

As with all other councils, we have very limited powers available to remove the encampments and we are required to follow a prescribed statutory Government process that takes time.

Informal feedback from the local courts suggests that we act far faster than most local authorities; we have completely honed the process down so that we act immediately at every stage of that process.

“We don't waste time at any stage - wasting time results in delayed eviction, causes more misery for our residents and costs the council and council tax payers more money. We are however, always keen to review our processes to ensure that we work as efficiently and effectively as possible. If good practice exists elsewhere that might help us to further improve the way we work here, then we’d certainly like to know about it.

"With this in mind, I will be referring our policy to the Council’s Scrutiny committee. This will enable us to examine everything openly in public session, so that everyone can see the hoops we have to jump through to evict travellers from Council-owned land.

"We will be extending an invitation to our three local MPs - Marcus Jones, Craig Tracey and Mark Pawsey; we’ll also be inviting the Crime Commissioner, the Travellers’ Liaison Officer from Warwickshire County Council and Warwickshire Police. The meeting will give us the opportunity to examine our current methods of eviction, the practices of other local authorities and also scrutinise the Government legislation that’s available.  In this way we can be absolutely sure that all options are considered.

"We’re in the process of arranging the meeting, which may take a little time given the number of diaries that need to be coordinated; however, we hope that all the people we invite will prioritise the meeting accordingly.”

Cllr Ian Lloyd, portfolio holder for Arts and Leisure