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Travellers moved on in less than 24 hours

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An illegal traveller encampment which parked up within a stone’s throw of Dudley Council’s new transit site has been forced to move on in less than 24 hours.

On Monday afternoon (October 19) nine caravans parked up illegally on land near to the recently completed temporary transit site on Budden Road in Coseley.

It would typically take an average of five to seven days to go through the courts to move them on, but as the transit site is now up and running, enforcement officers were able to use their additional powers to begin the immediate process of removing the unauthorised encampment.

Yesterday morning (October 20) all nine caravans were moved to the transit site and all have paid their deposits and rent.

They will be permitted to stay there for a maximum of 30 days.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of Dudley Council, said:

This administration made a clear commitment to our residents from the start that the transit site was about taking back control of our open spaces and removing the potential for disruption that many of our residents have had to endure over the years.
We now have the powers to move illegal encampments on more quickly and easily, reducing the time they have to create the mess and devastation they often leave behind, which the Dudley taxpayer ends up footing the bill for.
Yesterday was the first time our new powers have been tested. It shows the transit site works but I vow to make sure we do better next time and get them moved on even quicker, within a matter of hours.
On this occasion, council officers achieved a good result, however I was shocked with the lack of support offered by the Police. We have a joint protocol which is a commitment to working together to remove travellers quickly, however on this occasion the Police refused to attend the scene and support the operation.
I am appalled that this was the case and would expect a much more robust response. It is unacceptable that our officers had to delay eviction overnight following a lack of support from Police colleagues. It is clear that work needs to be done to strengthen this for a much swifter response in the future.

If members of an unauthorised encampment fail to relocate to Budden Road, it could lead to enforcement action, arrests, vehicles being seized and being banned from returning to the borough for three months.

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