In March Jon Cruddas MP co-signed a letter to Jake Berry MP, Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth pushing for a consultation on the effectiveness of enforcement against unauthorised encampments. The consultation had been promised by Ministers in 2017 but not delivered.

The government have now launched a 10 week public consultation which started on 5 April and ends on 15 June. The consultation seeks to understand more about the issues around the effectiveness of existing powers to remove unauthorised encampments.

Jon Cruddas MP said: “it is important to remember that this is not about the travelling community, but a criminal element operating within that community. Unauthorised encampments often result in fly-tipping and damage to private property with a large cost to local authorities dealing with the fallout. There isn’t a single solution to this, and it will take a multi-agency approach.”

In 2017 Barking and Dagenham Council made a successful application for an Unlawful Encampment Injunction from the High Court, this provided the local authority with new powers to move unauthorised encampments on. It also makes fly-tipping and setting up camp on land that isn’t yours an offense punishable by imprisonment.

This was successfully put into practice in March: http://www.barkinganddagenhampost.co.uk/news/crime-court/council-uses-powers-granted-by-high-court-to-evict-travellers-from-site-in-barking-1-5424681

The full government consultation on Powers for Dealing with Unauthorised Development and Encampments can be found by clicking HERE

Jon added: “as we move into the warmer months it is anticipated that constituents will once again be faced with issues surrounding unauthorised encampments. That is why I am urging as many residents as possible to take part in the consultation.”

The consultation can be found HERE