Mark Jenkinson, the Member of Parliament for the Workington constituency, has once again raised his concerns with Allerdale Borough Council that the authority has still not set out a strategy to deal with unauthorised gypsy and traveller encampments across the borough.
Over the weekend, Mark has been contacted by a number of constituents who have raised concerns that an illegal encampment at Oldside is to be moved to the Clay Flatts Industrial Estate.
Mark Jenkinson MP said ‘There is clearly an issue with unauthorised encampments in the Workington Constituency. I have raised these issues a number of times with the Police and the Council and I am confident that the necessary powers exist to swiftly evict the majority of these sites. Unfortunately, the problem remains.
Illegal and unauthorised encampments should not be tolerated by the council, and residents or businesses who operate and live within the law should be able to feel assured that law-breaking will not be overlooked.
I would like Allerdale Borough Council to set out a clear policy for the management of these encampments. This is an issue that has blighted the lives of many of my constituents for many years, and without a policy by which every site is treated equitably these encampments will continue to affect residents and businesses in my constituency.
The Council carried out a joint assessment of needs for the provision of additional authorised sites with the other Cumbria districts during 2013. This did not identify a substantial additional need for sites, and this is being reviewed again in 2020. If it can be shown to be required, I will support a permanent gypsy and traveller site, in a suitable location, where the scale and cost to taxpayers is appropriate, but going forwards this current situation of tolerating law-breaking must cease.’