The Council is aware of the current unauthorised encampment on the car park at Sutherland Memorial Park.
We are doing all we can, as quickly as we can and would like to explain how the Council and other official agencies will work together on the necessary steps to remove the encampment from this Council owned land.
Unauthorised encampments are a matter of civil trespass between the landowner (in this case the Council) and the individual(s) illegally camped on the land.
The Council must follow a specific procedure when dealing with unauthorised encampments on its own land to ensure it acts within the legal framework to achieve an effective eviction.
An eviction could involve Council staff, Surrey Police and bailiffs and this requires careful co-ordination. A critical factor is ensuring that an eviction is carried out in a manner that is safe for everybody, including those on the site and the people living nearby.
It usually takes between 8 and 14 working days to complete the eviction process. This will depend on the circumstances of each individual case and the time taken to obtain a court hearing. In all cases, we visit the site regularly and make every effort to ensure that the site is kept tidy, rubbish is removed and any potential public health problems are avoided
Many of the unauthorised encampments within the borough are by groups of people who follow a nomadic way of life travelling the country, stopping off for a time and then moving on. These people are often referred to as Gypsies or Travellers. Gypsies and Travellers are protected from discrimination by the Race Relation Act 1976 and the Human Rights Act 1998, together with all groups who have a particular culture, language or values. It is not illegal to roam and people cannot be prevented from roaming.
Although, we are not legally obliged to remove individuals or groups who illegally camp on our land, we do try to move all individuals who have set up an unauthorised encampment as quickly as possible.
We will continue the operation of our services and facilities at the site as normal.
The travellers, who arrived at the park yesterday, were served with a formal notice today directing them to leave as soon as practically possible before 12pm Wednesday 7 March.
For any queries relating to rubbish collection or general questions about this encampment - please contact our Parks Business Support on 01483 444718 or Customer Services on 01483 505050. You can also email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
For any concerns regarding anti-social behaviour or criminal activity, please contact Surrey Police on their non-emergency number 101 or 999 in an emergency only.
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