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7th Jul, 2022

Talks over getting travellers removed within 24 hours

Malvern Editorial 16th Oct, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

TRAVELLERS could be forced from Malvern Town Council land within 24 hours.

Councillors are looking at ways new rules could be introduced after a single pickup truck towing a caravan pitched up on the field at Ramsons Close backing onto Spring Lane at the end of September.

The council got a possession order at Worcester Magistrates Court but had to wait another two days before it gave them the power to force the two occupiers to leave. However during that time they left of their own accord.

In June, travellers parked caravans on Victoria Park which is also owned by the council. It caused alarm among residents and prompted increased police patrols but again they left before being forced.

At the latest full council meeting, town clerk Linda Blake confirmed she was looking into ways which would allow the council to act much quicker.

During the discussion Coun Paul Tuthill called for the council to establish similar laws to those of the Malvern Hills Conservators.

He said: “My understanding is the reason the Conservators can deal with these people faster is because they don’t allow overnight camping on their land. It means they can turn up the next day with a tractor and threaten to pull them away if they want which generally has the desired effect.

“We should definitely investigate ways to try and obtain such a by-law.”

The Conservators actually have two rules which are used to remove travellers. The most common is By-law 14 which prohibits camping on the hills or putting up structures to sleep in.

By-law Eight also applies which prevents people driving or riding specified types of vehicles on undesignated areas of the land without permission.

The organisation also has rules which restrict parking in car parks between 11pm and 6am as well as stating all vehicles must have a ticket.

A spokeswoman for the Conservators said when travellers parked on their land the normal procedure would be for staff to visit them and ask them to leave by the next day. If they failed to move, they would then be issued with a formal notice outlining the by-laws and ordering them to move within 24 hours.

She added it was after that when they had the right to ‘remove vehicles by our own means’ but stressed they had never had to resort to such measures adding it would be the ‘very last resort’.

The spokeswoman said officers would also point out other areas owned by the Conservators where travellers would not be allowed to stay as well as list the authorised sites nearby.

This year the Worcestershire Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment has been updated and published findings reveal Malvern actually has three more plots and pitches more than needed. Although it is suggested further spaces will be needed from 2018.

A full report is set to be released by the end of the month.

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