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Lib Dems Call for Effective Action on Unauthorised Traveller Encampments

September 21, 2007 6:06 PM

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have called for effective action to deal with unauthorised traveller encampments in Bedford Borough.

Following a meeting on the issue last week attended by Borough councillors and the police, Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have announced that they will be pushing for action on five points

Commenting on the issue, Liberal Democrat Cllr Charles Royden (Brickhill Ward) said:

"It is in everyone's interests to find a lasting solution to what has proved to be a real problem for residents in Bedford this summer. Unauthorised gypsy and traveller encampments have caused disruption for many residents. There must be a better solution for everybody than the merry-go-round of just moving travellers from one inappropriate site to another every few days."

Cllr Myrtle Stewardson, whose Putnoe Ward has also seen several illegal encampments this year, added:

"We will work extremely hard to achieve a solution to this, as local residents are rightly demanding. The Liberal Democrat 5 point call for action represents common sense, and we will be determined in pushing it forward."

The Liberal Democrat five point call for action:

• Working with the council for the quickest possible response to remove unauthorised gypsy and traveller encampments

• Pushing the police to use the powers they have to the full

• Physical protection of spaces where appropriate

• Lobbying for a change in the law so that the council would only have to make checks (such as health and education) once, which can then stay valid for a larger geographical area and time period. This would avoid having to re start the assessments after every move.

• Provide local permanent and transit site(s), where Gypsies and Travellers can go instead