Thanet council says it will ‘enforce removal’ of Traveller group at car park by Dreamland

The group has been at Dreamland since last month Photo Jo Hanchett

Thanet council says it will “enforce removal” of a Traveller group that has been sited in the authority-owned car park next to Dreamland since January 4.

The action is being taken after a court order for removal was ignored. There are around 15 caravans at the site.

A Thanet council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the Traveller group that is currently at Dreamland. A court order has been served however, it has not been complied with and the traveller group has not moved on. In light of this, the next step is to enforce removal.”

It is an offence for somebody subject to such Section 77 removal notice to fail to leave as soon as reasonably practicable or to re-enter the site within three months of the date on which the notice was given.

The next step means the council will forcibly evict the group.

Lack of official sites

A spokesman from the Friends, Families and Travellers organisation said a lack of official sites is forcing groups to pull up on public land and not enough is being done to address that issue.

They added: “Local authorities across the country have largely failed to identify land for Gypsy and Traveller families to stop in their local plans so many families are forced to pull up in public spaces and on private land. This leaves many Gypsy and Traveller families statutorily homeless with interrupted access to basic water and sanitation, education and healthcare.

“Our recent submission of evidence to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women found that despite the fact the Government made £4.7 billion available under the Shared Ownership and Affordable Homes Programme 2016-2021 – which includes provisions to build Gypsy and Traveller sites – not a single local authority has used this funding to build sites.

“It would appear that there is a need in Thanet for authorised sites to be built. We would recommend that the district council and local authority work with the Traveller community in the area to identify land that would be suitable for building new sites to accommodate these residents.”

Housing Act

The total number of unauthorised camps in Thanet last year was above 50, in 2013 just two were recorded.

The Housing Act 2004 placed a duty upon local authorities to produce assessments of accommodation need for Gypsies and Travellers.

In Summer 2013 Canterbury, Dover District, Shepway and Thanet councils commissioned the Salford Housing & Urban Studies Unit (SHUSU) at the University of Salford to produce an updated Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople Accommodation Assessment that was undertaken by DeMonfort University in 2007.

The primary purpose of this assessment was to provide up to date information and data regarding the needs and requirements of the Gypsy, Traveller and Travelling Showpeople communities. The report presented the projection of pitch requirements for the period 2013 – 2027.

For Thanet it assessed that there was no need for permanent or transit pitches. For Canterbury the need was estimated at 40 pitches, Dover 7 and Shepway 7.

However the rise in the number of encampments for Thanet could force a review of that assessment.

8 Comments

  1. These people are NOT “travellers” they are trespassing Gypsies if they were travellers they would not be a problem it is when the stop they are a pain. They are not short of a bob or two. Judging by the flash caravans / motor homes / cars and vans they own. There are thousands of people sleeping on the streets each night much to the shame of the government. Those sleeping rough have a much higher priority than those who just take over a site with their caravans / motor homes / flash cars and vans.

  2. Ann, ‘Gypsy”, and (Irish)
    ‘Traveller’ are labels of ethnic minorities. Using them as terms of abuse is ill-informed, unkind and racist. I’m sure you are none of these.

  3. Hi Ella
    It is all too easy these days to flag up the racist card indeed many hide behind it in the hope that will lessen
    what they get up to. I don’t care if they are Gypsies / Traveller’’s / Romanys / Gay / straight / Bisexual / Transgender.
    What I do know is they cause damage / trespass and fly tip. I am NOT abusing them I am stating the truth of what they do and who they are. They are anti social they are from the same group who knocked on my door telling me I had a hole in my roof and they world fix it for “Just £1000” when I told them where to go they became abusive.
    The reason that their trespassing / damage / fly tipping has become more common is because of dogooders are trying to cover-up what they get up to. Wake-up and smell the coffee to reality.

  4. Do not forget these people are non tax payers no council tax and no Water rates .They are a traveling community and live off the land though you cannot far them all with the same brush they leave a trail of filth human excrement fly tipping rubbish pensioners robbed at home by useless house drive roof repairs and as I can see have no reason or entitlement to any council services if you live outside the law you cannot expect rewards from inside it indeed when I left the services after a lifetime of service the local council said I was not entitled to any council services housing or funding because I did not live in Thanet whilst I and my family served in the forces so why are you bending over backwards to help these people get. In there now and get them out and stop any more from settling in any where

  5. I think social deprivation in Thanet is due the lack of community and the decline in family values. I moved away from Thanet perninsular because of the amount of crime and drug abuse. The so called “Travellers” actually fit in well with Thanusion society.

  6. “ We Elderly residents in Thanet are being urged to be alert to rogue traders following suspicious reports in the area.

    Officers have received reports between February 2 and 5 of elderly people being targeted by strangers b who have advised work is needed on their property.

    In all three reports, although the victims declined the work, they all said the doorstep caller was persistent in trying to get the work agreed at a high price.

    A woman in her 80s reportedly had a man calling at her property in St Mary’s Avenue in Margate at around 12.30pm on 5 February, offering to fix loose roof tiles. During the incident criminal damage was reportedly caused to the victim’s driveway wall, after which the man then increased his quote for repairs from £20 to £1,250.

    When the victim said she would speak to her family before agreeing to any work, he left the property and did not return.

    He was described as aged in his 30s, and 5ft 5 ins tall. He was smartly dressed with short dark hair and spoke with an Irish accent.

    A second man was present too, described as aged in his early 20s, under 5ft 5ins tall, with light skin and dark hair.

    They left in a white transit-style pick-up truck.

    Anyone with information about the report is asked to call Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting 46/24132/19.

    A similar approach regarding work needed on a roof was reported by a resident in St John’s Avenue in Ramsgate at around 1pm on Tuesday 5 February, and in Dudley Avenue in Westgate on the morning of Saturday 2 February, a resident was approached by a man about getting work carried out on her driveway.

    Inspector Jason Brown from Thanet Community Safety Unit said: “While it’s not uncommon to be approached by genuine doorstep callers looking for work, we are urging people to be wary of those who may be looking to exploit the more vulnerable members of our community by charging a large amount of money for work which perhaps isn’t needed and then pressuring them to accept the work.

    “Keep an eye on your elderly relatives or neighbours, make sure they know they do not have to accept on the spot repairs and if they have any concerns about their behaviour, call the police.” “

    I rest my case Ella

  7. Personally I think they should stay in dreamland carpark , who else parks there ! Its so expensive , who else will park there till Dreamland opens in the spring , let them stay .

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