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Travellers attempt to set up camps twice in Redbridge following High Court interim injunction

PUBLISHED: 15:50 21 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:22 21 August 2018

Traveller camped up in Hainault Forest Country Park.

Traveller camped up in Hainault Forest Country Park.

Archant

Travellers have attempted to settle in the borough only twice since a temporary injunction was introduced last month by Redbridge Council, according to official reports.

One attempted incursion was into the council-owned Hainault Forest Country Park, where vehicles left within two hours of parking up on Monday, June 11.

The other incident took place on private land.

In 2017, 40 unauthorised encampments were reported to the council with most taking place during the summer months.

The council’s interim injunction - protecting 235 sites which include parks and school grounds - was granted by the High Court in June this year.

Council leader Jas Athwal said: “I’m very pleased that the interim injunction is proving such a success and is stopping incursions.

“For years we have taken precautions to protect council land from illegal encampments but there were always those willing to force entry.

He added: “Over the last two years alone those costs had reached £350k.

“In times of austerity, this is money we can now invest in key frontline services.”

Responding to the news, Conservative group leader Cllr Linda Hugget said: “Hopefully the Council will ensure that the Injunction will be made permanent as soon as possible.”

Anyone breaching the interim injunction by refusing to move could be imprisoned, face a fine or have their assets seized for contempt of court.

The council housing and adult and children’s services departments attend the sites of unauthorised encampments to assess Travellers’ needs as a statutory responsibility.

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