Pressure from the Conservatives over unauthorised traveller encampments has paid off as the Council reveals it is considering the use of new Public Spaces Protection Orders to stop repeated and damaging incursions on sensitive sites in the city.
Woodingdean Ward Councillor, Steve Bell, has been pressing Council officers to make use of the new powers that were introduced by the Conservative-led Government last October. The Orders prohibit particular behaviour in specified locations where this behavior has a detrimental effect on the quality of life of residents. This could include camping, driving on and damaging grassed areas and making too much noise. Breaching the Orders is a criminal offence with a fine of up to £2,000.
Cllr. Bell said: “I’m delighted that the constant pressure we have been putting on over the traveller issue finally seems to have paid off with some concrete action by the Council. The tipping point for me was the recent incursion by travellers on the Cemetery in Woodingdean which showed a complete and utter lack of respect for the local community. Anything that makes it easier for the Police and Council to take action against these encampments has to be welcomed and I will be looking to ensure that a wide a range of sites as possible are included in the Order.”
Conservative Group Leader, Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald, added: “As a Group we have been arguing for years that certain sensitive sites in the city should be totally off limits for travellers and have always been thwarted in our attempts by the Green and Labour Parties. I urge the new Labour Administration to bring this in without delay so that residents don’t have to put up with repeated and very costly disruption in the areas covered by this Order.”