Northampton

Plea to Northampton roundabout migrants

Migrants have set up camp on Barnes Meadow roundabout
Image caption It is not known whether the woodland at Barnes Meadow is still occupied

Homeless migrants using woodland on a Northampton roundabout as a camp have been urged to speak to authorities or face eviction.

The migrants, known locally as the roundabout people, have set up home on the Barnes Meadow roundabout.

The borough council said the migrants may be entitled to help but would be cleared off the site if they did not co-operate.

Homeless charity Hope said the migrants had no luck finding work.

While the county council owns the most of the land, part of it is owned by the borough council - which would take responsibility of any clearance if people are still living there.

Interpreters have been sent to the area but as yet only three men have been found on the site.

'Transport home'

Borough councillor Mary Markham said: "Our problem is trying to establish how many people [are]there and what their circumstances are - until we are able to establish that we are unable to help them."

"Even three is three too many.

"We want to help them, find out if they are entitled to housing, benefits.

"If the answer is no then we will give them transport home. If they won't talk to us then we have no option but to evict them from the land."

A spokesperson for Northamptonshire County Council said: "There are plans to clean up the site, however if there is now evidence that the camp is still being used, then [the] traveller unit will have to liaise with Northamptonshire Borough Council before there is any action."

Northampton North Conservative MP Michael Elise said: "We are going to have to eventually bite the bullet.

"If there is a failure to co-operate with the authorities then the the borough council and the county council are going to have to rather quickly work out who owns this land and take enforcement action if necessary.

"We cannot allow persistent breaches of the regulations."

Richard Appleby, from Hope, said: "They [the migrants] come over looking for work but they end up in camps because there is nowhere else for them.

"Wherever they come from is pretty desperate."

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