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Protection of Council Land from Unauthorised Encampments to Go Ahead as Lib Dem Proposal Gets the Nod

February 7, 2008 5:59 PM

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have welcomed the Council's approval of its proposal for more protection of open space from unauthorised Gypsy and Traveller encampments. £40,000 will now be spent on physical protection of public spaces from unauthorised encampments after the Lib Dems won the backing of the council for the work at last night's budget meeting.

The Lib Dems first made this proposal for inclusion in the budget to the council's Corporate and Resource Committee in November last year.

Following the appearance of large numbers of unauthorised encampments across Bedford over the past year, the Lib Dems have campaigned for effective action to protect council land in the most vulnerable areas.

Cllr Myrtle Stewardson, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Putnoe Ward, said:

"We are very pleased that action will now be taken to put physical protection in place to stop unauthorised encampments appearing at the most vulnerable and unsuitable sites. This is of course only one part of the action needed to stop the merry-go-round movement of traveller sites, which serves no-one. It is a vital step, however, and the sooner this work can start the better.'

"Recent experiences in communities across Bedford have shown that we have to be better prepared to deal with unauthorised encampments. These preventative measures are a good start, and are hopefully a sign that we are now moving towards a lasting solution for everyone."