Council to tackle travellers

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COUNCILLORS have agreed to work together to prevent travellers illegally occupying sites.

Underwood councillor Robert Sears-Piccavey demanded that Ashfield District Council takes a more ‘robust and proactive’ approach to travellers at a full council meeting last Thursday evening.

It comes after travellers set up camp on land at the junction of the A608 and Felley Mill Lane South last month.

More than 1,300 people have signed a petition against the camp and two public meetings were held.

Coun Sears-Piccavey told the meeting that the people of Underwood did not feel protected.

He said: “Residents are talking about withholding their council tax until we solve this situation. That is something we cannot afford to let escalate.”

Councillors said that they should work together to lobby the Government on the rules surrounding traveller camps.

Selston councillor Gail Turner added: “It is wrong for travellers to move onto precious greenbelt as they have in Underwood.

“The rules are the rules but it appears that some rules are more equal for others.

“The planning system is slow, reactive and cumbersome.”

n A planning application has now been submitted for the site, see page two.

“As council members we really need to work together; we need a change in the law so together we need to lobby MP Kenneth Clarke at the Ministry of Justice.”