Travellers evicted from Walsall car park

A group of travellers given permission to temporarily set up camp on a car park in Willenhall have now been evicted.

Wakes ground car and lorry park in Willenhall.
Wakes ground car and lorry park in Willenhall.

Walsall Council turned Wakes Ground car and lorry park into a temporary transit site as a place to direct unauthorised encampments to during the coronavirus lockdown and also in anticipation of a traveller funeral last week.

But the council announced this morning that due to a number of breaches, the decision was made to revoke the permission. The travellers have today been served with an eviction notice.

A statement from the authority said: "On April 20 Walsall Council made a temporary transit site available to provide a place to direct unauthorised encampments to during the Covid-19 lockdown and in anticipation of a traveller funeral which was due to take place April 21.

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"The site was only available for use by people directed there by Walsall Council officers or West Midlands Police. All persons directed to the site were served with a notice outlining the terms under which they were permitted to stay on the site.

"An unauthorised encampment was directed to the site on April 20 2020 and the families served with the notice. However, as a result of a number of breaches of the notice the decision was made to revoke that permission and the occupants served notice to evict this morning."

Bosses said a number of sites were looked at before the Walsall Street facility was chosen by officers, using delegated powers.

The decision prompted criticism on social media from people including local councillor Diane Coughlan and Walsall North MP Eddie Hughes who were worried about the suitability of the location.

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