BOURNEMOUTH council has pledged to act “swiftly” to prevent car parks and open spaces being used as unauthorised gypsy and traveller camps over the summer months.

John Beesley, leader of the council, has assured residents the authority is doing “absolutely everything it can” to minimise disruption to the local community in anticipation of the arrival of members of the gypsy and traveller communities.

Furthermore, Cllr Beesley said where necessary the council will act quickly to take legal action in order to evict unauthorised camps.

“The record in Bournemouth has been very robust in making sure that we protect our car parks and open spaces and we have invested in measures to prevent unauthorised encampments wherever possible,” Cllr Beesley said.

Cllr Beesley said Bournemouth Council has a range of measures in place to address potential problems.

He said: “Residents need to be reassured that Bournemouth council is doing absolutely everything it can to deal with these problems successfully so that the public are inconvenienced as little as possible.”

Earlier this week the Echo revealed how Poole is going to spend £231,000 beefing up security at vulnerable sites, which have been targeted by travellers in previous years.

The money is to be spent at Whitecliff, Baiter, Verity Crescent, Broadstone Recreation Ground, Haskells Recreation Ground and Branksome Recreation Ground providing measures such as mounds, hedges, posts, rocks and height restrictions.

Council leader, Cllr Elaine Atkinson said they would be providing what measures they could, short of locking down the whole town.

“Take Whitecliff – we cannot lock it down and make it inaccessible because the air ambulance lands there, the ambulances need to gain access.

“Likewise for a lot of our open spaces, but that is not to say we won’t be target hardening sensitive sites. We were already doing that anyway as part of our plans.”