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Council makes move to block illegal traveller encampments

Ian Hughes 29th Jul, 2017

COUNCIL chiefs are spending £170,000 in a bid to stop travellers illegally setting up camp.

Warwick District Council is heightening security at many of its car-parks, parks and open space in an effort to prevent unauthorised access by travellers.

The move comes following a number of recent encampments at St Nicholas Park and on the Chase Meadow estate in Warwick; at Leamington’s Newbold Comyn, and on Hatton Park.

But there have been problems for many years with residents plagued by anti-social behaviour from camps on their doorstep, and big clean-up jobs for the council after the travellers have left.

Following meetings with residents, the council is starting a six month programme of works to tighten security and make it harder to get vehicles onto public areas.

Measures being taken include the installation of lockable gates, bollards, height restrictors, and trip rails at a cost of just over £170,000.

There has recently been a Warwickshire-wide review of how police and councils can work better together to tackle illegal encampments as quickly as the law allows. This has led to a new protocol outlining how agencies can be more effective in their response.

District council development spokesman Coun Alan Rhead said: “Unfortunately the increasing numbers and associated disturbance and mess means that Warwick District Council has had to tackle the issue of unauthorised traveller encampments in this way.

“Over the coming months I am leading on a district wide initiative with the aim of finding permanent and transit sites to meet the needs of all communities, working closely with parish councils, residents and representatives from the gypsy and traveller community.”

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