Statement from Harlow Council: Update on illegal encampments in Harlow

Politics / Fri 1st Aug 2014 at 01:01pm

THE group of travellers who were illegally encamped on land at Katherine’s Way moved on Wednesday 30 July 2014 to land between the road at Third Avenue and the cycle track there. This is Essex County Council land.

They are also on land behind the cycle track. This is land owned by Harlow Council. Harlow Council Community Safety Officers have visited the group on Harlow Council land on Thursday 31 July 2014 and served them with a direction to leave on or before 9am this morning (Friday 1 August 2014). As they have failed to do so the Council will be issuing county court proceedings today.

The illegal traveller encampment on Howard Way/Second Avenue, which is also land owned by Harlow Council, is subject to a court hearing on Monday 4 August 2014 at 3pm.

Leader of Harlow Council, Councillor Jon Clempner, said: “We are again working as quickly as possible to issue court proceedings to the groups illegally encamped on Harlow Council land if they do not leave when directed, and are working closely with Essex County Council, the Police and legal experts on a long-term solution to this continuing issue. As I have said previously, the Council has also written to the Government and the Association of Police Officers requesting an urgent review of Council powers and associated guidance, and is awaiting a response.

“In addition we continue to react to reports of travellers attempting to gain access to other areas and have been taking emergency preventative measures to protect these areas – for example, yesterday (Thursday 31 July 2014) the Council responded to reports of traveller activity around Rectory Field by placing topsoil to prevent access.”

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