Law change call to keep travellers on the move

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 October 2010

Illegal Gypsy Highbridge   ;      Gypsy   site   has sprung up at the  Isleport  Industrial  Estate,    Highbridge   07-05-10   DK/PIP

Illegal Gypsy Highbridge ; Gypsy site has sprung up at the Isleport Industrial Estate, Highbridge 07-05-10 DK/PIP

Archant

TRAVELLERS illegally pitching on sites in North Somerset could be swiftly moved on by police to neighbouring authorities.

The unitary authority is asking the Government to change the law to give police the power to move unwanted visitors onto transit camps in bordering areas.

Currently there are no transit sites in North Somerset, making it difficult for authorities to move travellers on quickly from council or privately-owned land.

North Somerset Council’s deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees said while there are no plans to provide a transit area in the district it would be useful to use neighbouring authorities.

He said: “The problem is we can’t currently force travellers who come into North Somerset to move onto transit sites which are not in our area.

“With co-operation from nearby councils and a change in law, we could alter this and make life easier for people living in the district.

“It is all part of the council trying to find an economic and legal solution to the problem we have of not having enough sites for travellers.”

There are currently 42 residential pitches in six locations across North Somerset, but no transit pitches.

Transit sites nearby include Avonmouth near Bristol and Westonzoyland in Somerset.

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