Crackdown On Traveller Camps

13 August 2013, 11:59 | Updated: 14 August 2013, 12:42

Milton Keynes Council and partners are cracking down on unauthorised encampments following the recent spate of activity across the borough.

Senior representatives from the Council, Thames Valley Police, the Parks Trust and others held a summit to minimise both the number of unauthorised encampments in Milton Keynes, and the need for major clean up operations.

Cllr Peter Geary, the Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “We’ve recently seen a surge in illegal encampments springing up across Milton Keynes, with tonnes of associated rubbish, including a lot of trade waste, ending up on these sites.

"For example, sheets of asbestos were left behind at the popular beauty spot, the Blue Lagoon in Bletchley.

"We will crack down on unauthorised encampments and keep our green open spaces looking attractive. We will not accept anyone destroying our local environment and take all steps to stop this happening."

Partners are considering options for new resources to manage unauthorised encampments at peak seasonal periods, such as during the summer.

Major land owners will be given advice on how to improve defences and on what action should be taken if an unauthorised encampment is set up on their land, including who to notify.

The council and its partners also hope to dissuade local residents from taking advantage of doorstep offers that are “too good to be true” to dispose of garden waste or rubbish from repairs – as the waste may end up on an unauthorised encampment or fly tipped.

Instances will be investigated and enforced by the council, with a clean up bill coming back to the householder or business owner which can end up in a fine costing hundreds of pounds.

Cllr Geary added: “If an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is. We will be taking legal action to collect funds from people in and out of the borough who have used doorstep offers which resulted in illegal dumping, as we wish to avoid passing the cost of clean up operations on to the taxpayer where we can.”