Wednesday, August 27, 2008
TRAVELLERS BACK IN ELSTOW
We have been plagued by illegal traveller encampments this year. Travellers invaded the Abbeyfields park today for the 5th time in 3 months. My residents suffer anti social behaviour, thefts and flytipping. In June I persuaded the landowners David Wilson Homes to instal wooden posts at the 4 entrances but the travellers cut down 2 posts with a chainsaw, causing an ugly confrontation with residents. The land is still privately owned so DWH bring in bailiffs and move them on fast but soon the land will be transferred to Bedford Borough Council.
Under the present weak Labour Government it is hard to evict travellers fast from publicly owned land because of the need for social services and education checks and magistrates' orders. Kempston had to tolerate a large group of travellers for 6 weeks before they were finally given their marching orders.
The next Conservative Government will review the law and like the Irish Government could make illegal traveller encampments a form of criminal trespass, leading to instant eviction. Law abiding council taxpayers should not have to tolerate the mess and anti social behaviour caused by freeloading travellers.
In partnership with DWH, Bedford Borough Council, Elstow Parish Council and the Police I expect to resolve the Elstow traveller problem with permanent defensive measures in September before the land transfer takes place.
STOP PRESS There is still one day to vote for me as Bedfordshire's Sexiest Politician on Blogging for Bedford. I have 156 votes but am still only in
3rd place so I need more people to vote for me. What are you waiting for?
PS Had a great Bank Holiday weekend in Staffordshire with my daughter and small grandchildren Jessica and Oliver. On Sunday we visited Drayton Manor Theme Park which has a Zoo and lots of big rides but costs a small fortune so on Monday we opted for the simpler pleasure of walking in the National Forest.