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NBBC seeks stronger powers to deal with unauthorised traveller encampments

Published on Friday, 5th May 2017

The Department for Communities and Local Government has responded to a written request by NBBC for stronger legal powers for local authorities to deal with unauthorised traveller encampments.

Gavin Barwell MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning wrote on behalf of the Government Department, expressing gratitude to the Council for drawing attention to the situation in the Borough and for offering suggestions as to how the law might be strengthened.

Cabinet member Cllr Ian Lloyd said:

“We are grateful to the Minister for acknowledging the Council’s letter, but unfortunately it takes us no further forward and our recommendations don’t appear to have been taken on board. Whilst there’s a promise to ‘keep this under review’, there is no suggestion that the Government will take any action to strengthen our legal powers to enable us to deal more quickly with traveller issues.

We’re already following the good practice referred to in the letter and we’ll continue to take every opportunity to further improve our processes, particularly in relation to our multi agency approach.

Like many local authorities across the country, we have experienced a significant number of unauthorised traveller encampments over recent years and have been frustrated with the limited legal powers we have to remove them. Current legislation doesn’t allow us to move travellers on as quickly as we’d like to, which is extremely frustrating for us and our residents.

Needless to say, we’re disappointed with the Minister’s response to our letter.”

The Minister’s response can be viewed here.