Councils in Pock area asked for views on illegal sites

East Riding Council is writing to town and parish councils in the Pocklington area to sound them out about illegal gypsy and traveller encampments.

The full meeting of the council this month agreed to seek greater powers from the government to deal with illegal camps on unauthorised land in the East Riding. It also proposed that the police should fully use the powers they already have to deal with those groups who cause criminal damage.

Over the summer months, the council dealt with 252 complaints from residents about illegal encampments compared with 135 for the same summer months last year.

In its letter the council is informing local town and parish councils that it has set up a working group of its officers to look into the whole issue of illegal encampments and the actions required to deal with them.

Councillor Jackie Cracknell, portfolio holder for community involvement and performance, said: “The working group will also take the views of the town and parish councils on a recent announcement by the Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Grove who is proposing, what would be in effect a number of transit sites across the East Riding.

“The commissioner referred to them in his statement as ‘negotiated stopover sites’. Such sites would ideally require the same facilities – water, sanitation and power – as permanent sites.”

Anyone with views can email them to Paul Abbott, group manager for public protection on paul.abbott@eastriding.gov.uk.

The working group’s recommendations will be announced at a later date and will subsequently be used as part of the council’s lobbying of government for tougher powers to deal with groups which adversely affect local communities.