Julian Knight MP has tackled Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, writing to seek an urgent review in the law governing traveller encampments. His letter argued that evictions must be faster to obtain, and travelling groups must be prevented from simply moving from one public space to the next in the same neighbourhood.
He has also submitted a number of written questions to the Government, and published a response to Solihull Council’s review of its defences of our public spaces after the latest spate of incursions over the summer. This was sparked by his Change.org petition calling for tougher action, which attracted more than 3,700 signatories.
This past weekend Julian was pleased to see the police taking a pro-active approach, protecting several at-risk sites in Shirley before camps could be set up.
Commenting on his call, Julian Knight said:
“Too many of our parks and green spaces have been hijacked by travellers this summer, causing a great deal of disruption and distress to residents. Although the power to tackle illegal camps directly rests with the Council and the police, as MP I want to do what I can to help protect our community.
“As well as lobbying the Government and organising my petition, I have also held face-to-face meetings on this subject with Nick Page, the Chief Executive of the Council, and the local police chief.
I have also researched ways that other communities have tackled similar problems. I want Solihull Council to consider several examples of best practice used by other councils, such as more effective physical defences or town-wide injunctions against persistent groups. “My recommendations have been submitted to the Council, and will be available on my website, julianknight.org.uk, for all Silhillians to see.”