I know that many Wycombe constituents were concerned to read the Bucks Free Press report about how much it cost to clean-up the old High Wycombe sports centre site after travellers set up camp earlier this year. I can fully understand these concerns because we all want to ensure our taxes are spent prudently for the betterment of our community.
I am speaking to Wycombe District Council about whether they were able to effectively use available powers to remove the unauthorised travellers’ encampment from the old sports centre site, and I have encouraged the Council to consider whether they need new or additional powers to prevent such a situation arising again in the future.
Parliament debated the issue of unauthorised traveller encampments in October. You can read the debate here in Hansard. The Government has announced a consultation on the effectiveness of enforcement against unauthorised development and encampments. I wrote to the Minister at the Department for Communities and Local Government highlighting the issue of fly-tipping including systematic dumping at unauthorised traveller encampments.
The Minister has affirmed that the Government takes the issue of unauthorised encampments and associated problems very seriously, and a call for evidence will be announced in due course. You can read the Minister’s response here: Minister Letter 041117.