I have today received a briefing note from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner in relation to travellers. The briefing note is directed at the MP’s representing the West Midlands in preparation for a House of Commons debate about travellers taking place soon. The document is a public document which I can share with you. Briefing note for MPs on Unauthorised Encampments
The document looks at the recent situation within the West Midlands and elements of good practice in the region. It does call for stronger co-operation between all local authorities and police areas in the West Midlands, something I fully support and have been calling for myself. The best way of tackling illegal encampments is for more joined up working.
The document recognises the value of transit sites for travellers has for tackling unauthorised encampments in the region and suggests a change in legislation to allow the pooling of regional transit sites – this may enable both police and local authorities in the use of their eviction powers.
The issue of injunctions is addressed and it is fair to say this is on Solihull’s agenda. However, the report outlines the expense this causes for individual councils and again suggests co-operation in seeking regional wide injunctions. Here, the issue of sufficient transit sites may be crucial.
Parliament discusses the issue of travellers and gypsies next week and I know our Solihull MP’s, Julian Knight and Caroline Spelman will be taking an active part.