Dorset

Travellers camped in Bournemouth park face eviction notice

A group of travellers who set up camp on a Bournemouth park have been warned to move on or face eviction.

The travellers arrived with 17 caravans at Queens Park, on the field adjacent to the car park, on Saturday.

Bournemouth council warned the travellers they were on the local authority's land so they had to move or a court order would be sought.

The Gypsy Council said Bournemouth council should accommodate the travellers elsewhere in the borough.

Both the police and the council have liaised with the travellers and a needs assessment has been carried out.

Action is now being taken to seek a court hearing as soon as possible.

Council officers are also carrying out daily visits to do litter picking and supply the travellers with refuse bags for their waste.

Joe Jones, spokesman for the Gypsy Council, said: "No one is ever going to move on to a park with the intention of living there. They usually move to parks because they've no where else to go. No one expects them to stay for a long period of time.

"Every council is obliged to have sites for gypsies and travellers to go to. I don't believe Bournemouth council does though."

In November, Bournemouth council asked residents to comment on four proposed locations for gypsy and traveller sites that could provide up to 26 pitches.

Residents had until 10 February to comment on the proposals.

Under the terms of the Housing Act 2004, local authorities must assess the accommodation needs of gypsies and travellers and identify where new pitches should be located.

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