MP’s call for Government help over Fylde travellers

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has requested Government assistance for a local council as it attempts to deter a group of travellers from settling on public land in St Annes.

The group had set up camp at Blackpool Road North playing fields but Fylde Council officers secured a court order requiring them to vacate the site. However, the travellers then moved on to land at nearby Rodney Avenue, with staff currently seeking an order banning them from any public open space in the borough.

Mr Menzies said: “I have been contacted about this issue by a number of local residents who feel it is inappropriate for this group to be settling on land which is not designed for residential dwelling and does not have the appropriate facilities.

“The council has been quick to secure a court order moving the travellers off the popular playing fields at Blackpool Road North. However, that has meant they have now moved to another site nearby.

“This type of action costs local authorities a great deal of money and officer time, which should be being spent carrying out their regular daily duties.

“I have written to the Department of Communities and Local Government to highlight the pressure this puts on Fylde Council, at a time when it is important resources are spent wisely, and to request any assistance which may be available to the local authority.

“In that letter I have also questioned whether current legislation goes far enough to support local councils and private landowners to protect their sites.

“I have also written to the Chief Executive of Fylde Council to praise their quick action while urging him to take all necessary legal measures in order to ensure travellers do not settle on an illegal site in Fylde for any length of time.

“While I have nothing against this group, the law is the law and it is imperative they do not disrupt local communities by settling on land which is not allocated for that purpose.”

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