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Travellers given a week to clear and move from council car park in Weymouth
TRAVELLERS who moved on to a council car park in Weymouth have been given bin bags – and a week to quit the site.
Council officials have visited the group, who moved caravans and cars on to the overspill car park at the Mount Pleasant park at ride site last week.
The group has been given black bags to ensure the area is kept tidy and been told legal action will be taken if they don’t move off by next Monday.
A notice to quit is expected to be served on them today.
The group, Irish travellers who have moved up to Dorset from Devon, include a number of children.
As landowner and providers of a gypsy and traveller liaison service, Dorset County Council has a dual role when dealing with the group.
A spokesman said the council had carried out welfare checks and would continue to monitor the group. But it has also warned of legal action to evict them.
Inspector Les Fry of Weymouth police said officers would continue to monitor the group and ‘discuss any action with partner agencies to resolve the situation.’ He said a number of issues had been raised by residents regarding the group.
Borough councillor for Radipole Bill White understands words have been exchanged between gypsy liaison officer Paula Clover and the travellers about keeping the site clean, something they have so far failed to do.
Coun White said: “Paula is doing her best and we have to remember the county council is bound by the legal process. The travellers are aware this process takes time.”
He added: “It’s futile to suggest other courses of action – we have to deal with the situation as it exists.”
Coun White said if residents saw anything untoward they should let the police know. This was far better than people ‘harbouring a grudge’ against the travellers or talkbased on ‘hearsay’, he said.
PEOPLE were asked for their views on proposed permanent and transit sites in Dorset for gypsy and travellers.
This was to help Dorset Country Council and other authorities draw up a draft development plan document (DPD), a countywide plan to identify and allocate a range of sites over the next 15 years. Local planning authorities have been urged to consider accommodation needs and look for sites by central government.
Almost 10,000 individual responses and 32 petitions containing more than 6,000 signatures were received within the consultation period between November 2011 and February 2012. A report was drawn up at the end of last year based on these responses and called for further investigation work to be done including examining new and alternative sites that were suggested.
It is understood another consultation will be carried out in the summer.