Kemptown MP launches traveller petition

Sarah Green June 29, 2014

Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, has launched a parliamentary petition about unauthorised traveller encampments in Brighton and Hove.

Simon Kirby, MP

The MP, whose constituency covers a number of areas that regularly encounter traveller encampments such as Woodingdean, Rottingdean, Saltdean, Moulsecoomb and East Brighton has launched the petition to raise the profile of the issue in the hopes it will encourage the City Council to take swifter action when encampments occur.

Last week he wrote to Brighton Police and the Chief Executive of Brighton and Hove City Council asking for urgent action to move on travellers from the Rottingdean Recreation Ground, which is to the north of Rottingdean Village.

He said: “People are rightly fed up with these constant unauthorised incursions by travellers into their neighbourhoods. The encampment at Happy Valley was moved on promptly last week and I have asked for similar action this time with the travellers that have arrived today at Rottingdean Recreation Ground. I shall continue to press the local authorities until this matter is resolved.”

“It is incredibly frustrating that year after year we have this expensive game of cat and mouse around the City, with local residents left to pick up the cost, and often the rubbish, left after unauthorised encampments.

“The Council currently has powers to tackle this issue, but too often it appears they are reluctant to use them. Whilst the Government cannot force them to act, I hope that by presenting this petition in Westminster to raise in parliament the situation in Brighton, that the Council will feel more inclined to act.”

He continued: “I am inundated with residents contacting me from across the constituency about this issue. Sites like Saltdean Oval, Happy Valley and Wild Park regularly have to suffer encampments and it is not right or fair on the local community, who often tell me they feel that the Council does not listen to their genuine fears and frustrations.”