On Thursday 13th July, Sir David Amess MP asked the Leader of the House of Commons, Rt Hon Andrea Leadsom MP, for a debate on the laws surrounding illegal caravanning sites during Business of the House questions.
The MP for Southend West said:
“Could my right hon. Friend find time for a debate on the laws relating to the unauthorised arrival of travelling people in parks and open spaces? Only last week, a group of very hostile people arrived in a local park and caused much damage to play equipment, not to mention the cost to the council officers and police who had to remove them.”
In response, the Leader of the House of Commons acknowledged the issue which many local communities around the country face and made it clear that the Government is working to address the issue:
“My hon. Friend raises an important point, and I am aware that this is a matter of interest to Members on both sides of the House who understand the frustration when Travellers arrive on unauthorised land and cause damage and upset to local communities. I can tell him that local authorities and the police have a wide range of strong powers that enable them to take action, and the Government really want to see them working together to address this issue.”
This comes as a group of travellers moved into Oakwood Park in Leigh-on-Sea on Thursday 7th July. Despite eventually moving out of the park following the threat of legal action from Southend Borough Council, they were a cause for concern amongst many local residents after demonstrating aggressive behaviour towards members of the public.