Bollards to go up at Dudley parks to stop illegal traveller camps
Bollards will be put up at parks and green spaces across Dudley to try to stop travellers from setting up camps.
Work has already begun to install protective measures at sites across the borough which have been most vulnerable to invasions.
Council bosses are keen to tackle the problem of travellers ahead of spring and summer when there is normally a spike in cases.
Brompton Drive and Turners Lane in Amblecote are among the first areas where steps will be taken the next few weeks, followed by Woodside Park, Netherton park, Lister Road and sites in central Dudley.
Dudley Council leader Qadar Zada confirmed he has allocated the money needed to secure sites and areas that saw the highest incursions in 2018.
He said it was an important issue and was keen for residents to see action was being taken.
It comes after controversial plans to create a holding site for travellers was scrapped by the Labour-led authority following opposition locally.
Leaders have gone back to the drawing board in order to find an alternative site.
Councillor Qadar Zada said: “We have identified the money and we will ensure that the sites are secured before the travelling season starts.
"We have already started the work and will be liaising with councillors and local residents in the area to run past them our plans for their area.
"There is no issue with the money and neither is there an issue with the urgency of the work, we have already started this and we have officers working to install these as we speak. We recognise the importance of getting this sorted over the next few weeks.
“It’s a priority for local people and therefore it’s a priority for me.
“We know that incursions usually happen on sites that are accessible and we are about to secure them, alongside this we will employ additional enforcement officers, introduce a borough-wide injunction and put forward our plans for a permanent site.
"This is a comprehensive solution to making sure that the issue of traveller incursions are dealt with effectively.
"We believe in prevention is better than cure, and in the same way we would secure our homes from intruders – we will secure our parks and open spaces from unwanted visitors.”