‘The journey goes on’ – councillors to consider options to deal with summer traveller incursions (From Bournemouth Echo)
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‘The journey goes on’ – councillors to consider options to deal with summer traveller incursions
WITH a temporary traveller site in Poole now dead in the water, the town is making plans to deal with this summer’s expected incursions.
“It is quite clear we are not going to find anything for the summer,” said Cllr Mike White, deputy leader of Borough of Poole.
“Now we need to take stock and look at other things we can do.
“The message is ‘the journey goes on’.”
On April 10 an update will go before the environment and scrutiny committee, to which all councillors have been invited, to make recommendations to cabinet.
The report gives updates on the six-point plan agreed by cabinet in November.
This includes continuing to search for a temporary transit site, lobbying government to allow joint sites with neighbouring authorities and co-operating with Bournemouth and Dorset.
However the possibility of pre-emptive injunctions on specific sites is not being recommended by officers as among other difficulties, it would give police no additional powers.
“If we did get an injunction we would have to go back to the High Court to apply it.
“That would be slower than the current powers we have available to us,” said Shaun Robson, head of environmental and consumer protection services.
“The conclusion is that at a cost of £5,000-£8,000 per injunction this is unlikely to move us very far forward,” he said.
Councillors will consider the option of providing toilets and skips on unauthorised encampments and has earmarked £30,000 in the budget for this purpose, and will look at providing better information about camps on its website.
Other ideas include protecting vulnerable sites with mounds or embankments or hedges, using some of the money set aside for the abandoned TSPs.
The council is also speaking to the Gipsy Council and has a code of conduct with which it expects travellers to comply.
Cllr White said the £400,000 from the sale of the Marshes End site was unlikely to be used to buy a site.
“We have been looking for a site for the last three to five years. That hasn’t produced anything,” he said.
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