Harlow Council issue statement over unauthorised traveller encampment in town park

News / Sun 25th Jun 2023 at 03:17pm

HARLOW Council has issued a statement over an unlawful traveller encampment in Harlow Town Park.

Councillor Dan Swords, Leader of Harlow Council, said: 

“We were made aware of an unauthorised traveller encampment in the Town Park on land between the paddling pool and School Lane. Our Community Safety team visited the site as soon as we were made aware and we have worked with the Police this morning to issue the encampment with a notice to leave without delay. 

“We have a zero-tolerance approach to unauthorised traveller encampments, and that is why we have dealt with this immediately and served the encampment with a notice to leave. 

“The action we take will always be about upholding the law, responding to the concerns of residents and protecting the town’s open spaces.”

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29 Comments for Harlow Council issue statement over unauthorised traveller encampment in town park:

Paul S
2023-06-25 15:35:06

Not yet again?

Bruce Downey
2023-06-25 16:16:37

Town Park⁉️ Taking The Piss..

2023-06-25 16:41:33

The law needs to permit police to enforce a summary eviction for these unlawful encampments and to ensure the trespassers are compelled to clear up any litter and be held accountable for any damage they cause. Our parks and green spaces are an amenity for our residents and lawful visitors, not for this type of abuse and unlawful conduct.

Nick Gunning
2023-06-25 18:14:34

The trouble is that the changes made in law recently have left travellers with literally nowhere to go! Evict them to what? The kerbside? With the new laws against demonstrations they might not even be able to use a lay-by! We would think it reasonable to allow councils and central government to buy or allocate land for houses, so why not buy a network of sites, countrywide, for travellers? They would need nothing like the infrastructure of a council housing estate, and the land could also involve 'rewinding.' Or are we desperately trying to exclude some sections of society without the basic rights to decency we'd want for our families. Perhaps an insurance scheme just like motor insurance with deeds held by one or two members of the traveller group to indemnify against 'mess or damage. ' it requires some thought, but over and above that, it requires a little compassion. The travellers often have children- would anyone want these children constantly driven off and moved on, like the people who were treated like that in Central Europe a few decades ago.

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-25 18:38:23

Nick , you are spot on .. spot on.

2023-06-25 19:17:04

These Travelling folk are not homeless they all have homes in IRELAND they come over here to avoid tax and work for cash.which in turn have a effect on local trades and leaving shoddily done work. And thatsnot all the leave wherever they have been in a filthy condition with Human excrement all over the place.who remember the encampments around HARLOW A FEW YEARS AGO when the council took legal action to stop them entering Harlow and forming encampments..

2023-06-25 19:18:24

These Travelling folk are not homeless they all have homes in IRELAND they come over here to avoid tax and work for cash.which in turn have a effect on local trades and leaving shoddily done work. And thatsnot all they leave wherever they have been in a filthy condition with Human excrement all over the place.who remember the encampments around HARLOW A FEW YEARS AGO when the council took legal action to stop them entering Harlow and forming encampments..

Asad P
2023-06-25 19:43:53

Notice the high quality of their mobile homes and their vehicles, plus that they move in often at weekends when they think our Council are closed. Well done Harlow Council for acting quickly.

2023-06-25 20:20:34

I agree with Nick that we need to ensure we don't discriminate however, I also never see travellers come and go without leaving rubbish everywhere. So it's tricky for me.

2023-06-25 20:56:06

Harlow council spent a fortune a few years ago on legal action but then couldn't renew because of a technicality. As Keith says these people leave rubbish and mess but are not subject to council tax etc and as Asad points out their vehicles are normally very expensive so why not charge them to stay in a designated area? If these are travellers then why do they try to stay in the town for weeks at a time - they shouldn't be able to have it both ways (ie stay for free and trash where they stay) without consequences

Rosemary Venning
2023-06-25 21:04:51

Had them where I lived in Enfield. They had a council house and a small caravan. They would go to the caravan opposite my house and check all their paper work They must have hidden in the cupboards so the housing benefit etc will not find out. They used to have their kids running up abd down the street too. Glad I moved away. They would live in the house 6 months.

2023-06-25 21:07:15

Harlow has 2 official sites providing more spaces than any other part of Essex, The majority of these guys are looking for free spaces to camp with little or no regard for anyone else. Nick and Kim invite these guys to stay with you.

2023-06-25 21:20:09

I come from the English Romani travelling community and I grew up on the road and I'd love to live that way again but our way of life as been outlawed by those who think that the only way to live as to be heir way or no way , People are saying these travelling people got new caravans etc "No" by god they should be living in tents " and you should be living in a slum 😂 Do you not think they a lot more problems going on in our world than a few Irish travellers pulling onto a place for few days .

David Forman
2023-06-25 23:47:40

Harlow Council failed to persue a further injunction because Bromley Council's bid for a super injunction failed miserably. It was noted in that case that in Essex there were not any transit sites to permit the historical nomadic lifestyle of Gypsies and Travellers. The judge in the Court of Appeal ruling said: "the Gypsy and Traveller community have an enshrined freedom not to stay in one place but to move from one place to another”. Nick Gunning and Kim O'Connor are quite right to side with the highest courts of the UK law on Traveller rights. Time to stop the bigotry. See https://www.gypsy-traveller.org/law/use-of-injunctions-criticised-by-court-of-appeal/

Faye Reeve
2023-06-26 00:53:38

Every city council should have a site for gypsy new age travelers people who don't want to live in brick's look at the benifts it allows more housing space for the government to house illigal immergrants

2023-06-26 06:24:04

I remember when you could park at the swimming pool, now just private home's

2023-06-26 07:58:04

I suspect this is where the nasty 10 year old who assaulted my 6 year old, took his toy, tried to take his bike then pushed an old lady over walking her dog came from. He identified himself as a traveller. Disgusting disrespectful behaviour that shouldn't be tolerated anywhere.

Tim Ward
2023-06-26 08:08:30

If they left th place as they found it maybe we would be more tolerant but they leave there rubbish behind faeces everywhere shoplift do shoddy work then disappear then complain about a raw deal they get wethe taxpayer get the raw deal

James Leppard
2023-06-26 08:29:16

David Forman and other commentators are correct regarding the earlier dictum of the Court of Appeal on the matter of injunctions. However, this has now been superseded by the The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts (“PCSC”) Act 2022, which renders injunctions and the expense thereof unnecessary by strengthening police powers to tackle unauthorised encampments. This includes a new power of arrest and the power for police to seize the vehicles of those committing it. The Act creates a new criminal offence of residing with a vehicle on land without permission. The new offence will be committed when someone causes significant damage, disruption or distress. This is matter for the police to enforce once the Council has served due notice to the travellers to leave. Such notice was promptly served by the Council on Saturday.

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-26 08:57:00

James Leppard, perhaps provide sites for them.. as more and more lands are sold of, just where are they supposed to, if councils don't provide sites, what will happen, exactly this. More and more people are living this way, not just travellers... spaces need to be provided. But you councils are more interested in selling lands of ...

James Leppard
2023-06-26 09:22:31

Kim O'Connor, it may have escaped your notice that there is an authorised traveller site at Fern Hill Lane in Harlow, bordering my ward of Harlow Common. You should also know that I receive an ongoing stream of emails from residents of Hawthorns, Hilly Field and Corner Meadow relating to reports of vandalism, theft, anti-social behaviour including residents being targeted with air rifles! All this has been duly reported to both Community officers and the police. As I mentioned previously your idyllic image of travellers of yore living in a style worthy of a Constable painting bears little resemblance to reality. As a councillor, I will stand on the side and interests of the residents of my ward.

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-26 11:11:38

James Leppard, if that's the case why haven't you removed them, are you waiting for an accident to happen. But you will remove those who just want to live peacefully.. makes no sense, ask your self why they didn't pitch up at fern hill. You shouldn't put people in box's, as I said, good and bad in everyone. Your remove the good and let the bad stay, is that the motto. You been more sites, for travelling people, more and more are living this way, not just travelling people, where you going to put them.... we all have the right to roam.

Guy Flegman
2023-06-26 11:14:42

Hate to state the obvious. Why can’t these travellers use commercial caravan parks like the rest of us when we go travelling! Note for those with no sense of humour, this is tongue-in-cheek

2023-06-26 15:44:23

Guy Flegman asks the obvious question. Why don't they go to normal campsites instead of trespassing? Anyway, if the Council have served notice for them to leave, why are they still there? Why are the police not doing job and evicting them? Our police appear far too soft and woke with these types of cases and with those awful eco fanatics. Need to bring back proper policing. That is what we pay taxes for.

2023-06-26 16:19:34

Well said nick. U have it spot on.

Danboy smith
2023-06-26 21:25:59

You have good and bad in gypsies and travelling community I’m a gypsy myself or heritage are used to cross in the countryside and the common land that the government and the Queen of England give tour community hundreds of years ago. Unfortunately parts of our community have let us down but we’re not all bad people being spoken to civilly, you’ll get a civilly response back, it’s summertime and our community is on the road either going to fair to fair all going to city to city as we’ve done for hundreds of years I think people need to understand who we are and what we are and be able to justify between the good and the bad and you will realise we bleed just as much as anybody else

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-27 08:38:15

Danboy, well said. Spot on.

2023-06-27 15:52:32

It's a shame to see so many racist comments on here. So many stereotypes being hurled around such as "These Travelling folk are not homeless they all have homes in IRELAND they come over here to avoid tax and work for cash." This is not true. Some Travellers do exactly what it says on the tin, they travel. It is actually only a small minority of the travelling community that still travel. The vast majority live in brick homes or on designated sites. Maybe people should learn a bit more about the origins, beliefs and facts of this community before being so judgemental.

Kim Oconnor
2023-06-27 21:55:34

Well said David.

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