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Harlow Council detail road map for illegal traveller camps

News / Fri 20th Mar 2015 at 02:16pm

ONLY A dozen members of the public turned up to hear how Harlow Council and other agencies will cope with the future challenges of illegal traveller encampments.

Harlow MP, Robert Halfon led off and at the core of his presentation was the assertion that the law had to be changed (to a law similar to one in Ireland).

The meeting was chaired by Harlow Council leader, cllr Jon Clempner, who took the audience through the “journey” since October 2013, when the travellers first arrived.

Many of the comments from member of the public centred on the lack of assertive action from Essex Police.

The chief superintendent, Sean O’Callaghan spent time explaining, what Essex Police cannot do. Some of the residents compared their robust road traffic policing at the Hastingwood roundabout with the “softly softly” approach to the travellers.

The numbers in the audience were swollen by political figures and representatives from pressure groups. A number of them detailed that the nettle of “pitches” or areas to live for travellers had to be grasped.

Harlow Conservative leader, cllr Andrew Johnson, did extract a pledge from the leader of the council that there would be no extra pitches.

It was also revealed that the whole of the operation has now exceeded £120,000 and rising.

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