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New crackdown on traveller camps in Hyndburn
7:00pm Wednesday 13th March 2013 in Hyndburn
A COUNCIL is set to put in place a raft of measures to cut through delays in dealing with illegal traveller camps.
Hyndburn Council is the first in Lancashire to set up a scheme in which they will share information with neighbouring councils.
A new set of guidelines to be used in the area will also see the council join forces with landowners to prevent travellers using private land to dodge council action.
Officers at the authority will also set up a register of illegal camps in order to predict where camps may move to.
As well as this, the council has pioneered a scheme to share information with neighbouring authorities to prevent camps ‘disappearing’ across borders.
A report on the problem said the proactive guidelines would cut out delays caused by poor communication in the past.
Deputy leader Clare Pritchard said: “I decided some time ago that we needed to get a Pennine Lancashire group together in order to keep track of these illegal camp sites.
“Hyndburn is the first to put these ideas into practice and it is working well. Using these guidelines we hope to make sure everyone knows and is aware of illegal camps.
“In the past, the camps have just moved from site to site, and borough to borough, so they are never caught up with.
“Now we can work with other councils to prevent that.
“When it affects private landowners, we will get in touch and advise them of what they can do.”
The plan has been put into practice at the council in recent months, and today a formal set of guidelines are set to be rubber-stamped at Hyndburn’s cabinet meeting.
The guidelines set out a ‘flowchart’ response as soon as an illegal traveller site is reported.
The council, which will also regularly update a central register of problem sites, will alert key partners, such as neighbouring councils, Lancashire County Council and police officers.
Hyndburn Council will also contact private landowners in the vicinity and offer help and advice to those seeking to evict.