Call for law change as travellers leave waste and excrement in Weston car park
- Credit: Archant
Piles of rubbish and human excrement have been left in a Weston-super-Mare car park by a group of travellers.
Around 20 caravans arrived at Melrose car park last week, while another group set up camp on the Beach Lawns.
North Somerset Council issued both groups with a direction to leave and the authority is going to court to obtain a possession order so it can evict them.
Councillors are now pushing for a change in the law to enable local authorities to take immediate action to evict travellers.
Cllr John Crockford-Hawley said: “The situation is intolerable. These people know the law inside out and any hint of persecution is hit with immediate response from certain well-placed lawyers. “It would be relatively easy to put up barriers at the Melrose carpark but impossible to cordon off Beach Lawns.
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“Councillors are fed up getting the blame.”
Weston’s MP John Penrose said: “Most travellers park on authorised sites, but a few pitch up illegally and create havoc with anything from antisocial behaviour to littering.
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“There are legal powers for the police and council to use, but they’re complicated and slow, and often just push the problem a few miles down the road instead of solving it.
“I and other MPs have been pushing ministers for a better answer and, to be fair, they’ve listened.
“They’ve proposed making it a criminal offence to set up illegal traveller sites, enforced by stronger and simpler powers for local councils too. These changes can’t come soon enough.”