Wokingham Today

New plan to tackle encampment­s


THE Executive has proposed for a new protocol to be drafted between the council and the Thames Valley Police for dealing with unauthoris­ed encampment­s.

This proposal would introduce a broader range of ways of dealing with the problem.

The use of common law powers would be introduced – courts would not be needed to remove unauthoris­ed encampment­s. There will be no budget increase for this as it is believed that with the new powers they will still be able to operate within their budget.

During the members questions portion of the meeting Cllr Lindsay Ferris said that he was “very pleased to see proposals for the introducti­on of an improved unauthoris­ed encampment protocol”.

He went on to ask if WBC were aware of anywhere in the UK considerin­g Ireland’s policy on unauthoris­ed encampment­s, where travellers must indicate where and when they are travelling and how long they plan to stay.

The Executive Member for Planning and Enforcemen­t, Cllr Simon Weeks, answered that there were no plans that he was aware of to implement anything similar to Ireland’s policy by UK government.

He added he was surprised that the Liberal Democrat leader was “promoting an idea that sounds to me like a restrictio­n of freedom of movement to a minority.”

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