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Wolverhampton council bid for new powers to move illegal traveller camps

By Andrew Turton | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Illegal traveller camps in Wolverhampton will be moved on quicker if bosses are successful in applying for new powers.

Travellers on the Windsor Avenue playing field over the weekend

Wolverhampton council wants to follow neighbouring Black Country authorities in bringing new powers to force caravans off land.

It comes as around a dozen caravans arrived on Windsor Avenue playing fields in Penn over the weekend.

It is the fourth camp on the land in the last 12 months.

An encampment has also remained on Heath Town Park in recent days.

If supported the injunction would give the council powers to evict camps from 60 council-owned sites across the city.

Council officials have attended Birmingham High Court to apply for the new powers after cabinet approved the bid.

The council says the injunction will give it authorisation to evict travellers more quickly and save taxpayers money being spent on expensive court proceedings and excessive clean-up operations.

Council cabinet member, Councillor Steve Evans, said: “We have taken the first step to get legal proceedings underway and we will be making it our priority to keep our residents updated throughout the process.

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"We are hoping to gain an injunction across 60 sites across the city, meaning that these sites will be protected against the damage and disruption these encampments cause.”

Penn ward councillor Paul Singh said: "We're looking to put an injunction in to move them on.

"As an add on to that, I'm pushing for a city-wide injunction for green spaces that will hopefully be heard this week.

"I welcome these injunctions as every time this happens it costs the city thousands.

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"Adding up the costs of each time this happens it's well over £50,000 and the city just can't afford it, it's a problem that needs to be solved.

"I was annoyed and disappointed with this whole process. I've had calls from residents about this issue who feel intimidated and threatened."

He added: "The stress, cost and the clean up operation will take it's toll and it can be avoided.

"Residents have now been denied access to their green space that they're entitled to and it cannot keep happening."

Sandwell and Walsall councils already have injunctions in place to move travellers camps on.

Andrew Turton

By Andrew Turton
Digital Journalist

Digital journalist based at the Express & Star's head office in Wolverhampton. Interested in breaking news and social media. Get in touch on Twitter @aturton_star or andrew.turton@expressandstar.co.uk

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