Brighton Kemptown MP calls for action on unauthorised traveller encampments

Sarah Green March 8, 2015

Harlow and Essex County Councils have successfully applied for an interim High Court injunction preventing unauthorised traveller camps from being set up on 454 “parcels” of land in the local area.

Traveller Encampment Brighton & Hove

SIMON Kirby is calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to apply for a similar injunction for the city.

Mr Kirby, Conservative MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven has been a vocal critic of the Council’s current approach to managing the issue of unauthorised encampments, holding public meetings, parliamentary debates and recently presenting a petition in the Chamber of the House of Commons signed by thousands of local residents on the issue.

Simon Kirby MPSimon said: “The issue of unauthorised traveller encampments is a real problem here in Brighton, and is one I have been urging the Council to take seriously for a long time, recently presenting a petition in parliament on the subject.

“It is clear from the action that has been taken by Harlow Council and Essex County Council that options are available to councils if they choose to pursue them and I would urge Brighton and Hove City Council to follow this example and seek an injunction for sensitive sites in our area.”

Harlow’s injunction applies to 35 named travellers and will mean land across the town will be protected from current and future illegal encampments by “persons unknown”.

If the injunction is breached, the person responsible can be fined or imprisoned for contempt of court.

Simon continued: “Numerous sites such as Happy Valley, Saltdean Oval, Wild Park and Black Rock have been the subject of many unauthorised encampments and the City Council spends a lot of taxpayers’ money every year on these encampments and clearing up after they have moved on.

“Too often it feels like the needs and wishes of the existing community are ignored on this issue. Any such injunction would be about protecting our vulnerable open spaces, upholding the law and responding and listening to the concerns of residents and businesses.”