MOVES have begun to evict the protest camp that set up outside Bournemouth Town Hall at the weekend.

Last night the borough council said it had applied to the courts for a hearing to seek eviction of the camp on its land.

The hearing is due to take place on Friday.

Protesters set up on the grass on Saturday after marching through the gardens with banners with slogans such as “Cut bankers’ bonuses, not our pensions” and “We are the 99 per cent”.

The council said that, as landowner, it was entitled to possession.

It also said that the occupation could have a “negative impact” on public amenities at the town hall, with, for example, weddings taking place on November 4 and 12.

Cllr John Beesley, deputy leader of the council, said: “What started as a protest march on Saturday has now become an unauthorised occupation of public land and as such we are now treating it in the same way as we would any other illegal encampment.

“Those at the camp have made their point peacefully, but it is now time for them to go home and allow the wider public full access to the land that is currently occupied.

“I am hopeful that those occupying the camp will leave of their own accord before the court hearing on Friday.”

There is no supply of running water or sanitation for those occupying the camp, which the council said was a cause for concern.

Bags were provided yesterday for those occupying the camp to collect their litter.

The council also removed several banners that it said contravened the Highways Act.

At the weekend the protesters said their move was inspired by the encampment outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Yesterday, the City of London Corporation said it was holding off on legal moves to remove that camp.