TVBC considered the following motion at its meeting on 8 September:

That Test Valley Borough Council writes urgently to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, all County Councils and all  calling on them to legislate to make the Act of Trespass with a vehicle, caravan or mobile home a Criminal Offence.  This would strengthen the powers of the Police to take immediate action to remove travellers and others from public and private property without there being long and costly court actions and substantial clear up costs falling on the taxpayers or private individuals of this or any other Borough.

The act of trespass with a vehicle or any object is already a criminal offence in other European countries such as the Republic of Ireland.

A response has been received from Andrew Stunnell MP as it falls within his Ministerial responsibilities. He has noted the concerns but points out that any proposed action will be quicker and more effective where proper provision had been made for Gypsies and Travellers. The Government is developing a package through changes to the planning system and provision of incentives that they believe will work better and would want to check the success of this before considering changes to the law. I guess we will have to wait and see what this really means?

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