Article by Charlie Young and Chloe McKendrick
HARLOW Council has accused Essex County Council of not getting to grips with the issue of traveller camps in Essex.
In 2015, Harlow Council was the first Council in the country to introduce an injunction that declared a removal of unauthorised encampments within 24 hours. The injunction was extended for a further three years in June 2017.
Councillor Jon Clempner, the Leader of Harlow Council, said, ‘Almost overnight it helped to deal with persistent unauthorised traveller encampments Harlow was experiencing. The injunction is a deterrent that quickly resolves any issues on the land it covers and usually within 24 hours.’
He added, ‘Harlow is a tolerant place, but our settled communities quite rightly don’t want to see a repeat of persistent antisocial behaviour or see our lovely green open spaces damaged.’
Essex County Council agreed a motion this month calling on all of the Essex authorities to work together with the County Council and Police to identify and act on the root of the issue for the benefit of local residents and the travelling community.
The motion added that within the last three years the number of unauthorised encampments by travellers had more that tripled in Essex, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the bill of several hundreds pounds. This added cost had caused great tension between both residents and the travelling communities.
A spokesman for Harlow Council stated, ‘Every Council in Essex needs to make sure it has authorised pitches while we agree that we all need to work together. There are a lot issues, which need to be addressed.